early blight

Asked January 8, 2020, 11:57 AM EST

Hi - I have a backyard raised bed garden (about 6x12x3' above ground) and the tomatoes I grow there have suffered from what I think is early blight. The leaves get spotty, then turn brown and fall off from the bottom up, and fruit becomes tasteless and slower to ripen. Last year I moved all the overhead irrigation to a drip system which helped, I was able to grow some hybrids successfully, but the one heirloom was toast by mid-July. I don't have other growing space and would rather not take 2 years off backyard tomatoes. Is it worth replacing the soil in the garden bed over the winter? If so, how deep does it need to be removed? Would solarizing work as well? Thanks, Jen

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

Jen,
Rather than swap out your soil or try to solarize it, I recommend controlling your disease problem with cultural practices. Switching up your irrigation will help a lot, but growing modern varieties bred for disease resistant and paying attention to sanitation will, too.

Follow the advice in this article from the Tennessee Extension on'Home Vegetable Garden Control': https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W316.pdf