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tomato blight

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tomato blight

Post  jsavolt on 4/8/2010, 1:19 pm

I experienced tomato blight last year and have now been reading that I shouldn't use the same are to plant tomatoes this year because it is still in the soil. Should I remove old mix and redo my beds with new Mel's Mix? Anyone else with blight problems? Please advise

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Re: tomato blight

Post  camprn on 4/8/2010, 4:19 pm

I am posting this in response to your query, but keep in mind that this was written with the north east region in mind. There is good news in this synopsis. Beware, those who had blight on/in your potatoes.
http://www.umassvegetable.org/LateBlightAlertforTomatoandPotato.html


Last edited by camprn on 4/8/2010, 7:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: tomato blight

Post  martha on 4/8/2010, 6:58 pm

Camprn, GREAT info - thank you!

I was extremely lucky last year. My tomatoes didn't get hit until very close to the end of the season, but I heard a lot of heartbreaking stories.

I have been moving my Mel's mix from last year's tomato boxes into new locations for additional boxes. The next step was to put new Mel's mix where I want to grow tomatoes, but it sounds like I can relax a little.
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Re: tomato blight

Post  quiltbea on 4/8/2010, 7:08 pm

I am starting my own seed this year because of getting bitten by last year's commercial purchases in Maine.
Its nice to know that the blight does not winter-over in the northeast where winters are bitter cold and the ground freezes. I knew there had to be something good about the cold winters here besides no more bugs.
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Possible help for blight box

Post  Tigertame4 on 4/27/2010, 3:03 pm

I read in Jeff Ball's Sixty Minute Garden book that you can cover your box with clear plastic and let the sun hit it. It will get really hot and cook out any organisms which are still there. I am going to plant my tomatoes in containers on my porch to keep them drier which I read can decrease the blight.

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Blight

Post  jsavolt on 4/27/2010, 3:31 pm

The other thing that I have just learned (word of mouth!) is that blight spreads from the soil to leaves when water splashes up. The suggestion was to put newspaper or cardboard around the tomato plant so the soil doesn't splash up when watered. Sound logical to me. Any thoughts?

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Re: tomato blight

Post  camprn on 4/27/2010, 3:52 pm

@jsavolt wrote:The other thing that I have just learned (word of mouth!) is that blight spreads from the soil to leaves when water splashes up. The suggestion was to put newspaper or cardboard around the tomato plant so the soil doesn't splash up when watered. Sound logical to me. Any thoughts?
early blight can be a problem as far as remaining in soil, on cages, etc. Late blight needs living tissue to continue it's life cycle. Here is some more information.
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Re: tomato blight

Post  junequilt on 4/27/2010, 4:37 pm

Both septoria leaf spot and early blight (which evidently are commonly confused by home gardeners) hang on in the soil and will migrate through just about anything organic you put down on the ground, including newspaper - trust me on this.
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blight?

Post  jsavolt on 4/27/2010, 11:39 pm

Should I replace all my Mel's Mix with new mix? I don't want to have another bad tomato season!

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re changing out mels mix

Post  Tigertame4 on 4/28/2010, 11:10 am

I would just rotate to another box and plant something else in the blighted box

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Re: tomato blight

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/28/2010, 11:30 am

Oh boy June and Camp. I just read that if the leaves are pruned back to well away from the ground that you are a bit safer. Are you saying it doesn't matter about that either June? I'm wondering about my upside-down tomato experiment now. The soil all runs down to the tomato but it isn't ground soil.

Deborah ....humm
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Re: tomato blight

Post  junequilt on 4/28/2010, 12:57 pm

I think it depends on the type of blight you had last year. If it was the late blight (e.g. potato famine) that so many northeasterners experienced, you should have a clean slate as long as no one in the vicinity overwintered potatoes.

If what you had last year was early blight or leaf spot, you might consider putting a plastic collar around the stem of your upside-down plants, kind of like the Elizabethan collars dogs wear sometimes after surgery. A little water might leak through and travel down the stem, but the vast majority would fall onto the collar and disperse outward -- providing the collar is wide enough.

Also, there are organic sprays you can use to prevent these diseases -- supposedly. I'm going to use several this season. Got 'em from Gardens Alive.
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Re: tomato blight

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/28/2010, 1:15 pm

Thanks June, I've never actually had it but this is a new place, I don't know what has happened here (except that the grass was never mowed and when it was put down they did not remove the plastic grid that held the sod. My sister in another town had it and it was nasty.
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