WHAT DO I DO WITH TOMATO BLIGHT. My garden is 20/40 Ft, so it's difficult to...

Asked March 3, 2014, 5:40 PM EST

WHAT DO I DO WITH TOMATO BLIGHT. My garden is 20/40 Ft, so it's difficult to rotate crops.

Morrison County Minnesota

1 Response

The term "Tomato blight" can encompass at least three different problems 1.Septoria leaf spot,
2.early blight and
3.late blight.

All are fungal diseases spread by spores, which require dew or rain or overhead watering to infect the plant.
I'm not sure when in the year you have been experiencing problems with your tomatoes, but here is a fact-sheet from the University of Minnesota that will explain the differences, and give you some ideas about dealing with this issue:
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/efans/ygnews/2011/06/preventing-and-reducing-tomato.html

As you can see by this information, the best way to combat these fungal diseases is by rotating your crops, mulching the root zone well, leaving a good amount of space between them and watering at the soil level only. I understand that you have limited space and rotating your plants is not an option for you.

Many people have have terrific success by planting their tomatoes (and other susceptible plants) in raised beds, or in containers. This means that the soil (which harbors the fungal disease over the winter) is fresh and new each year - eliminating the over-wintering issues.

If you are able to do raised beds you can get rid of the old soil by spreading it around the rest of your yard and garden, and replacing it each year with fresh soil.

A container - like a large half-barrel, or similar volume pot (Large!) - refreshed with new soil each year will also ensure disease-free soil. Make sure that you water these plants adequately!:
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/efans/ygnews/2010/07/tasty-tomatoes-in-containers-t.html

The old soil - when spread evenly around the lawn and garden will not cause problems, and may even enhance the growing environment.

Blight problems do tend to take over if you aren't able to rotate your plants. Another thing to consider is buying tomato plants that are genetically resistant to these diseases. When you purchase plants look at the label - it should indicate how resistant they are to diseases
http://www.tomatodirt.com/disease-resistance-codes.html

I hope this is helpful...please contact AaE again if you have further questions.