tomato plant disease

Asked July 27, 2020, 1:09 PM EDT

first image: southern blight? Well watered, good drainage second image: coneflower flowered well early summer, then within 5-7 days withered and died to the root. Same question or other disease? third image: pole beans, budding flowers seem to be eaten off. Birds? Too high for rabbits or rodents. Is it an insect? Tall bean plants but no beans developing as buds gone.

Frederick County Maryland

3 Responses

We looked at the tomato photo and we cannot say for sure what has affected the tomato. We cannot see the lower stem or the roots so we cannot say if it is southern blight.
Other factors that can cause decline are leaf spot fungi such as early blight or septoria. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/fungal-and-bacterial-diseases-vegetables
Also, stressful growing conditions in the container -
too much moisture, not enough moisture, high and reflected heat, etc. Here is more information on growing vegetables in containers. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/container-gardening

No matter what the cause the tomato plant is finished. Harvest the tomatoes, check for southern blight, and pull up the plant. Tomatoes that have a touch of color can picked and ripened on the kitchen counter.
To Check for southern blight - Look for dark brown lesions at the soil
line and white mycelium (strands of fungus growing on the stem and or soil surface), and small (1/8 to 1/16 inch), tan spherical sclerotia, that resemble mustard seeds. If this is what you are noticing, throw out infected plants with household garbage or seal the plants in a clear plastic bag, expose to full summer sun for 4 weeks and then put the plants through a hot compost process. Also, remove the soil and scrub out and disinfect the container.
See photos and management https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/southern-blight-vegetables

Coneflowers - We cannot say for sure but may be southern blight. It is active now. This fungus can attack probably all herbaceous perennials and is favored by hot weather. You can look for it.
It generally causes the top of the plant to collapse with quite visible fine white mycelia and mustard seed like fruiting bodies on the stem and at the base of the plants. Oxalic acid is released and girdles the tissue but does not kill the roots. The plants and fungus comes back. It can filter down into the mulch.

We recommend that you remove the mulch and the plant, including the top several inches of soil to help prevent more infection. Minimize the use of a deep mulch and keep away from the stems of the plants. Practice good sanitation and Do not compost material killed by southern blight.

Here is more about Southern blight prevention: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/southern-blight

Beans - Loss of flowers and tips of bean shoots are probably not an insect. It is more likely environmental conditions (high heat, reflected heat, lack of water, etc.) You may also be dealing with some type of wildlife (nibbling) but we cannot say what. You mentioned too high for rabbits.

Marian

Thank you!

This is a photo of the dead coneflower down near base of plant

We looked at the photo and cannot make an accurate diagnosis why the plant
declined. We cannot say if this is southern blight. There could be several issues including a root rot.

We do not know what the site conditions are like. Perhaps this area holds too much moisture, we do not know how the plant was cared for, etc. We notice mulch around the base of the plant.

Coneflowers grow best in full sun to part shade in a well drained soil. Check the drainage in the area.
Remove the plant and discard. If you want to replant, plant in another location. Make sure mulch is thin and keep away from the base of the stems.

Marian