Tomato Problems – Botrytis

September is with us again and the warm/damp weather we’ve been having is encouraging disease in the greenhouses. Last year it was Bacterial Canker this year I seem to be having Botrytis (also known as Grey Mould). Its something I get every year but this year it seems even worse than usual. Its caused by Botrytis cinerea a ubiquitous fungus that likes warm, damp conditions (i.e. exactly those that we’re experiencing in the greenhouse at the moment).

Its affecting all the plants but is worse on the beefsteak. I think this is because they take longer to ripen so there’s more time for the problem to move from the stem into the fruit. Once in the fruit, you get a pale grey area around the connecting stalk which migrates into the fruit and it drops off.

Cutting off the affected leaves/stems makes you feel better but in reality it just exposes the cut ends for more infection and it works backwards into the stem of the plant.

There doesn’t seem to be a solution. Fungicides can help to stop it starting but once its got hold, they don’t help the infected plants. Making sure that the plants don’t get wet when watering seems to be promoted as a partial solution but, as we always water from the bottom, that isn’t our problem. All I can hope is that it doesn’t spread to other plants in the greenhouses or outdoors.

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