Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tomato blight

The last few years I've grown tomatoes, they've come down with the blight (kind of the tomato equivalent of bubonic plague). What to do?

I had dinner with some Italian friends, and we had a rousing discussion of how to prevent/cure tomato blight, which dissolved into conflicting "true stories" involving home remedies and nylon stockings.

So I checked out the BC Ministry of Agriculture website, which provides some answers to your questions about tomato blight and offers some good advice:

- Grow tomatoes in a warm, dry, sunny area. If you have had blight previously, move to a different area if possible, or replace the upper soil layer since "oospores" will carry over in soil.

- Water only underneath the plants, not the leaves or fruit. Drip irrigation is preferable to watering with a hose, to reduce water splash. Don’t overfertilize or overwater.

- Grow on a light sandy soil if possible or cover soil with a white plastic mulch to increase soil and air temperatures around the plants and reduce humidity.

- Growing plants under an overhang or a clear plastic shelter will help prevent spores from being deposited on plants by wind and rain. But plants must be covered before infection has occured. Covering the plants after they are infected may raise humidity and make the disease worse.

Read more.


Blogger Leslie said...

Found your blog via a google search for "tomato blight prevent cure". I had it last year and it is devastating. My tomato leaves are already getting those yellow areas on them, and I haven't had ONE ripe fruit. Waaaah! I hear conflicting info that neem oil might help. Also trimming the bottom leaves/branches so water can't splash up onto them when it rains.

7:51 AM  

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