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Aug 11, 2009 06:12 AM

Late blight, transmittable by seeds?

Hi all,

Like most of the people on in the NE I am having real poblemsa with my tomatoes dying from all and sundry diseases due to the perpetual wetness. As I yank my tomatoes off thier vines I am doing a sort of tomato triage and reltively few are passing the msuter to get to the table. Up till now I have been thorwing the "fails" into the rot bucket, so I can at least salvage the seeds. However last night It occured to me that if the plans had diseases (like late blight) those diseases might be carried on the seeds or even in the seeds to re-infect next year's crops. Anyone know whether they can (i.e. If I need to toss eveything and start again from scratch next year)?

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  1. I am NOT a master gardener, but if it were me, I'd discard everything and start over next year.

    1. I just lost my plants, too.

      What I have read is to discard of the plants in sealed plastic bags with the trash, not to compost them because you will spread the disease next year via your compost. Seems likely that the seeds could harbor the disease as well, so to be safe, toss and start fresh with new seeds.


        This has a lot of great information in it about the late blight. It mentions that blight is not thought to live in the seeds, however if it were my garden I would probably trash everything and then start with fresh seeds from a seed supplier in an unaffected area. Just for some reassurance. Tomatoe Growers Supply & Sandhill Preservation are great seed suppliers.

        1. Ideally you should always save seed from the best examples of your tomatoes (since you can still eat most of the tomato after squeezing out the seeds, it isn't even a hardship). Never save seeds from any that are diseased or subpar in any way. Overripe is okay, but just compost the others. Even if the disease isn't transmitted through the seeds, they may not be the biggest, healthiest, best examples of seeds if they're coming out of diseased tomatoes. Think of it this way -- you're trying to select the very best examples for your future crops. Biggest, tastiest, healthiest. etc.

          How many seeds to you need anyhow? A couple big healthy tomatoes can yield dozens of seeds, a multi-year supply most likely. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.