Tomato Blight

Asked March 3, 2020, 9:42 PM EST

is there a way to economically rid a field of the previous years tomato blight. I plant several hundred tomato plants for a farm stand at my farm Thanks for your assistance Meeghan Siera Cherry Bend Farm TRaverse City

Leelanau County Michigan

1 Response

Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.
Tomato Blights can be a big concern in Michigan and elsewhere.
Some years due to weather conditions the Blights are worse.
Rotating crops, choosing resistant varieties, good sanitation and soil covers are some of the best ways of insuring a healthy crop.
Diagnosing what type of blight or problems you experienced will help you in choosing resistant varieties.
Here is some helpful info from a previous question on EarlyBlight by Linda Whitlock.
Again I don't know what Blight you have but these measures are helpful for Early and Late Blights.
"Early Blight is very common on tomatoes grown in Michigan because our climate often provides ideal conditions for this fungal disease. The spores become active in late spring/early summer when moisture is able to sit on the leaves for an extended period of time. These spores may overwinter in the soil. Steps you can take to help prevent this disease inlcude:
Water the soil, not the plants using drip irrigation, soaker hoses, etc.
Mulch around the plants to provide a barrier that may reduce the risk of spores being splashed or blown onto wet leaves.
Prune the bottom set of leaves on the tomato plants and remove them when you plant the tomatoes.
Diseased plant leaves & stems should be removed from the garden to help prevent re-occurrence.
Plant the tomatoes far enough apart so there is good air flow and light allowed to reach the bottom of the plants.
Tilling the soil in the fall can expose the upper level of soil to the freezing winter temperatures which may kill these spores.
Fungicides containing copper sulfate are organic options but are only effect as a preventative measure."
I'm attaching some links which I think you will find helpful.
https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/michigan_fresh_tomato_diseases_in_the_home_garden
http://mtvernon.wsu.edu/path-team/tomato/
This is a link from a seed company. While I am not necessarily endorsing this company, their fact sheet is very informative and might get you thinking about choosing disease resistant varieties especially if Blight is a perennial problem.
https://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/tools-supplies/late-blight-awareness-prevention.html

I hope this information is helpful. May your plants grow well this season!