Bacterial Spot Remains Problematic for Tomato, Pepper Growers

Jim Rogers Disease, Peppers, Tomatoes

Bacterial spot disease continues to be a significant problem for tomato and pepper in southwest Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. It has flared in susceptible varieties due to the few rain events that have occurred.

Non-resistance pepper looks rough in most fields.

Bacterial Spot
UGA photo: Shows bacterial spot disease on pepper.

Respondents in Homestead, Florida, indicate that disease pressure is widespread. It is starting to impact younger plantings, while remaining moderate to high in older tomato and susceptible pepper varieties.

Bacterial spot is one of the most serious diseases of tomato and pepper because it can spread rapidly under the right weather conditions. These include warm periods with wind-driven rains.

Symptoms include small, water-soaked greasy spots on infected leaflets. Distinct spots with or without yellowing can occur on tomatoes. Fruit spots begin as dark specks with or without a white halo.

Sanitation is an important management option. Crop volunteers and solanaceous weeds should be destroyed between crops. Growers also need to purchase only certified disease-free transplants or seed.

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