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Posted on 22 August 2009 by

Reader Questions: Tomato Blight

late-blightBy Vanessa Richins

This season, we have a lot of readers concerned about the late blight that has spread throughout the Northeastern United States. Here’s 2 reader questions about the tomatoes themselves.


“Good morning, I had many of my tomato plants infected with the fungus.Some of the cherry tomato plants that were next to the infected ones appear normal. The tomatoes are red and without white spots. Is it safe to eat these tomatoes? Thank you for your help and time. Have a nice day. P.s. Is this fungus harmful to humans if ingested?”


“Can tomatoes be eaten from plants that show blight–I pulled out all my plants but some tomatoes are still green and sitting in the sun.I would like to know if they’re safe to eat if they turn red.”

Hi! The virus itself is not harmful to humans, so they are safe to eat. It depends on if they start showing signs of blight. So far it sounds like Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 20 August 2009 by

Reader Question: Tomato Plants Dying

blight1By Vanessa Richins

Nicole writes:

” I NEED HELP!! I went out to my garden this morning everything was fine. Came home from work and my tomato plants took a turn for the worst. Almost every leaf on the plant turned yellow/brown with dark black spots. I had to cut them all off according to the internet. Some of the tomatoes had dark brown spots on them. There was also some mushrooms growing beneath the plant.

Connecticut has been having alot of rain and humidity this week. Also there is a tomato fungus in six of our counties. Does anyone know what type of fungus this is and what I can do to treat my plants? I had 9 plants that were producing beatiful tomatoes…I was so excited. I don’t think they are going to survive. : (  “

Hi Nicole. I am so sorry to hear that all of your tomatoes are having problems.

First, the fungus you are referring to is late blight (Phytophthora infestans). It’s really hit hard in the Northeast this year. Part of the problem is the weather conditions you described – rainy Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 04 August 2009 by

Reader Question: Finding Green Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoBy Vanessa Richins


“Is there a grower or distributor in Bakersfield, California area for “Green Tomatoes”?… Have a special recipe for relish that calls for green tomatoes! Thank you!”

Hi Marilyn! Green tomato relish sounds interesting. I’ve been meaning to try fried green tomatoes myself, and now perhaps some relish too.

I don’t know of any specific growers or distributors who sell green tomatoes, but I do have some ideas for you. These could possibly work for any area, too, for anyone else looking for green tomatoes.

1. I know you’re in an area with a lot of farms (I have relatives that live there). I would suggest calling some of them and ask what they do with the green tomatoes that are left over after the main harvests.

2. Go to Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 02 August 2009 by

Reader Questions : Yellow Leaves, German Queen Tomato Ripeness

german-queenBy Vanessa Richins


“I live in Brooklyn and I am growing tomatoes on my fire escape using a “Topsy Turvy” planter.

They have been growing beautifully until work called me out of town and I asked my 10 year old to water them. Now I have alot of yellow leaves. However I am not sure his over or under watering is the problem because the yellow leaves are the ones that get the least light.

Does anyone have any suggestion?”

Hello Alan. How often do you fertilize your Topsy Turvy tomatoes? Since container grown plants have a limited Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 15 June 2009 by

TC Reader Questions: Saving Tomato Seeds, Broken Upside Down Planter

tomato-seedsBy Vanessa Richins

Jorge writes:

“Hi. I am interested in storing seed long term (more than 5 years) Could you point me in the right direction? Thanks!”

Hello Jorge. Tomato seeds can generally be stored up to 10 years and still keep a germination rate of 50%. Victory Seeds says that the typical length that they will keep is 4-7 years.

They have a great picture tutorial on how to save your tomato seeds.

You start by fermenting the seeds for a few days in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 13 June 2009 by

Kumato – The Tomato That’s Always Ripe

kumatoBy Vanessa Richins

One of the hardest parts of growing tomatoes is waiting for them to ripen.

Of course, you can use green tomatoes in some recipes, a la “Fried Green Tomatoes”, but most recipes call for juicy, ripe tomatoes.

As I was zipping around Google, I came across a tomato variety called the Kumato.

Its claim to fame is that it is able to be picked and used at any stage of development.

As explains, “The Kumato…starts with a dark green skin and a mild flavor. It then turns dark brown with a sweet and spicy aroma, before finally becoming a dark red hue which is sweet and juicy. It is available in two sizes, a Read the rest of this entry »


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