planted tomato starts

Asked April 16, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT

Hello. I planted two tomato plants on about 4/10/13. They were from an organic local farm/nursery Now the leaves of these starts are showing sings of blight? ,fungus? which is what the problem appears to be( from pics on the web). Was it too cold and wet? and will baking soda and a veg oil spray work to save these? If not I am looking for the safest way of dealing with this, even if I have to pull them out of the garden. What do you think? I am new to gardening and so far the mighty web has a dozen answers but I would appreciate a pro's answer. Thank you for your time. Wade

Multnomah County Oregon fruits and vegetables gardening horticulture

1 Response

Hello Wade, and thank you for asking about your tomato plants. Nurseries sell plants before it is warm enough to plant them outside without protection. It has been in the 30 degree-range the last few nights in the Portland area. Tomatoes need much more warmth, even at night. It is very unlikely your plants have a disease or will benefit from any sprays or treatments. Check out this great information from the Clackamas County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, “Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden” Regarding when to plant outside, it says “Transplant when plants are 10 to 15” tall and soil temperature is 60°F, usually in June.” I’m not sure if you’ll have success bringing your plants back inside, or if you’ll need to start over later with new plants. Even seasoned gardeners get excited and plant too early, then have to start over because we misjudged the chance for a cold-snap. A site that beginning and experienced gardeners find useful is the Oregon State Extension Gardening home page, You’ll find tips and monthly gardening calendar links on the right. In about the middle is a search box. Try “season extenders” for some articles about how to plant early and harvest later in our short growing season. There is a lot of gardening information on the web and you’ll want to focus on advice for local gardeners. I wish you the best with your garden.