Organic Prevention of Tomato Blight

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MsPacMan, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    Tomato blight (a fungi) is a perennial plague in humid, west Tennessee.


    Last year, it really did a number on my tomato plants later in the year.


    I'm an organic grower, so daconyl and its chemical cousins are out of the question.


    Any suggestions on organic options that might help prevent or at least delay the onset of tomato blight.
     
  2. slowsuki1

    slowsuki1 Well-Known Member

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    how many tomato plants do you grow are we talking ten plants or ten acers. i read someware that if you move where you planted last year you have a better chance at not haveing the problum next year. do not know if that is true or not. do not get discureged same thing happened to me to.i am thinking of running a fan to see if it will keep them dryer hope it works.
     

  3. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    From this site:
    http://www.ghorganics.com/page15.html

    Baking Soda Spray
    For anthracnose, early tomato blight, leaf blight and spots, powdery mildew, and as a general fungicide
    Sodium bicarbonate commonly known as baking soda has been found to posses fungicidal properties. It is recommended for plants that already have powdery mildew to hose down all the infected leaves prior to treatment. This helps to dislodge as many of the spores as possibly to help you get better results. Use as a prevention or as treatment at first signs of any of the diseases.
     
  4. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good garden cleanup from the prior year is important. During the growing season, regular irrigation, maintaining adequate nitrogen levels throughout the summer, and keeping the plants cool buy overhead watering or shading them will also help.
     
  5. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    I have about 16 to 20 tomato plants. I have six 50 foot raised beds, and plant two of those raised beds each year with tomatoes. I change the beds that raise tomatoes each year, so a given bed will grow tomatoes only one year out of three.


    The tomato are surrounded by basil, which I plant in order to ward off the tomato hornworm.
     
  6. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    I am always careful to clean up after plants come out of the beds each year. Because of the tomato blight, I pulled my tomato plants in August rather than allow them to struggle along the rest of the season. That allowed me to clean the diseased mess out of the garden before it spread around even more.


    I'm gonna water using soaker hoses this year, hoping that will help with the fungi problem. I'm also going to cut the bottom branches on the tomato plants, leaving the bottom foot of the plant open (my tomatoes routinely grow 7 to 8 feet into the air), again hoping this extra air circulation will help.


    I'm gonna try a baking soda and dishwashing liquid spray, unless I find something better to use.
     
  7. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you put the fungus infected tomato plants into the compost pile?

    I remember reading in Organic Gardening magazine years ago that milk has fungicidal properties. I think it was in reference to spraying squash plants, though.
     
  8. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    at this end of the state, it's just a matter of which blight we get. depending on the weather, it's either early blight or late blight. we mostly just take what we can get before it hits.

    which i know is not a solution to your problem, sorry. tennessee is a very fungus-y place. i'm going to try that baking soda thing, if i don't forget.
     
  9. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    No, I remove load diseased plant material into the back end of my pickup truck and drive it to the dump eight miles away. I only compost the healthy plant residue.
     
  10. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Every year except for last year has been a bad one for the tomato diseases. Last year I finally planted a good distance apart, mulched with newspaper and cover that with hay and did not have any diseases. I got more tomatoes from a dozen plants as I had from twice that many that were crowded with poor air circulation. Hope this year is as good as last! Also I have to stake them and tie them, if they lay on the ground, even with mulch they rot. Rita in TN
     
  11. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me that someone once told me that I should put a thick layer of mulch around the plants....keeps the dust and dirt from comming up from the soil and spreading the blight from teh soil into the plant that way....

    Was this wrong??
     
  12. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    That's correct. But even if you a soaker hose like I do, on a timer. You need to put the hose under the mulch. I believe the disease/fungus is splashed up from the soil.
     
  13. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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    any of the copper based sprays will help
     
  14. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on what you are calling tomatoe blight. If you smoke cigarettes then don't touch your plants unless you've washed your hsands first. That is called tobacco mosaic virus. If your plant are growing in the same place year after year, then you may develop wilt, which causes your plants to wilt in a few days and usually die. There are four different types of wilt that occur in soil. Plant resistant varieties first off and you may have better success. If you look at your tomatoe tags that come with the six packs, you'll notice that some have letters under the name, like V, or VF, or VFN, etc. this means they are resistant to fusarium wilt or verticillium wilt or nematodes in the soil.
     
  15. kbshorts

    kbshorts Well-Known Member

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    The only thing that has ever really worked for me is resistant varieties, "Tropic" has been the most resistant, in my garden. None of the heirloom varieties I have tried yet have had much resistance. I did have one "Old German" plant show some resistance last year and I am going to start selecting them each year to try to get a little more resistant strain.
    KB
     
  16. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with all the folks who recommend mulch: a thick layer of mulch under the plants keeps soil from splashing up on them, carrying the disease up onto them. Even if you use drip irrigation, there's always rain . . . unless you live here in drought-prone high plains of Montana!

    Besides, mulch does so many other wonderful things that I never garden without it, anyway.
     
  17. dragonflyz9C

    dragonflyz9C Well-Known Member

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    Mulch, Mulch, Much Mulch...:)
     
  18. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I will tell you what works for me.I follow jerry bakers books and concepts.
    For insect and disease control clean your soil before you plant
    Apply this with a hose end sprayer like the miracal grow sprayer you fill and attach to the water hose.
    1cup liquid dish soap
    1 cup antiseptic mouth wash
    1 cup chewing tobacco juice*
    fill the remaining balance of the jar with warm water and attach water hose spray your garden to the point of run off.
    *to make chewing tobacco juice,place a 3 finger pinch in an old pantyhose and soak in 1 gallon hot water untill mixture is dark brown.
    you can also apply this with watering cans add 1/4 to 1/2 cup to 2 gallon can.

    Now his answer to tomatoe blight is calcium