|By goGreen | January 31, 2012|
Tomato blight is a damaging disease for the crop which requires careful management. There are two types of tomato blight: early and late blights. Early blight will overwinter in soil and on old plant material. Late blight will not survive in soil but is found on plant material and is the more dangerous of the two diseases. Both diseases can be brought into soil from contaminated plants or seed. The blights infect all Solanaceous plants which include potatoes. No Solanaceous plant should be grown in the same place. Crop rotation is crucial to controlling the disease, as is purchasing plants resistant to the blight.
Things You’ll Need
- Plastic bags
1. Remove and destroy all infected plant parts and old Solanaceous plant pieces. Pull potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes at the end of the season and bag the plants and throw them out. The fungus can survive composting so do not throw them in your yard waste pile.
2. Rake up old tomato leaves and fruit. Bag these also and throw them out. Rake before you till or you risk mixing in the seeds from infected fruit.
3. Spread 3 to 5 inches of mulch over the infected area. Mulch will help prevent the infected soil from splashing up onto the foliage of the next season’s crop and infecting it.
4. Allow the soil to dry out. Both blights are caused by fungi which require moist conditions to survive and reproduce. If they are not given moisture, over time they will die out.
5. Prune out any tree branches which may be preventing the morning sun from reaching your soil. Morning sun dries the dew which supports the formation of spores.