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Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

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Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby jenn » May 07, 2012 2:20 pm

For several years in a row we have had one or the other or both of these issues in our vegetable garden.
I know what is causing the issue - I share this garden with another family and they don't really have good habits about cleaning up after harvest, combined with using a large tractor to disk out the garden in the fall and spring - making it impossible to rotate crops, and spreading the disease throughout the entire plot.

So instead of waiting for it to just show up this year - I'm looking for some preventative steps I can take so that I don't lose yet another tomato crop.

TIA!
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby Mostly Weeds » May 07, 2012 2:28 pm

Eek! Hmm, thankfully I've not had to deal with blight yet myself but as I understand it can be really difficult to get under control. Especially with the situation you describe?

I think it is mainly caused by "splashing"? Be sure to water your plants at ground level and away from the base or even invest in some of those direct-to-root watering spikes? I think I've even been told that blight spores can arrive on the wind which seems like the kind of situation that is unpreventable, thought probably unlikely.
“The average person is still under the aberrant delusion that food should be somebody else's responsibility until I'm ready to eat it.” - Joel Salatin

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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby B_BQ » May 07, 2012 2:38 pm

There were reports of blight in our area a couple of years ago, but fortunately we were not affected. However, I did decide that the following year I would let my raised beds lie fallow, (grew toms in one raised bed and fingerling potatoes in the other), and I grew all my tomatoes in those large black plastic tree pots from the nursery and used fresh soil. (I save them and over the years have collected quite a few). The toms did very well. They did need watering more frequently, but that was a small price to pay. You would also have the advantage of being able to put them somewhere away from the existing veggie plot.
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby Eeyore » May 07, 2012 4:08 pm

Brenda is right, you have to let that plot sit for a year or 2. Plant your toms in planters this year.
Lyn
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby Dumbo » May 07, 2012 6:02 pm

How does one identify blight?
Have a good site or pictures to share?
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby DonnaZn2SK » May 07, 2012 6:46 pm

Inge can probably give the best advice for this. We had late blight for the first time ever a couple of years ago. Early and Late Blight on your tomatoes can be devastating to your crop, the best thing is to practice preventative measures. Look up pictures of both these two blights, along with Septoria leaf spot, so that you can recognize it.

Make sure you are watering the ground only and not the leaves.

Leave some room between your plants to allow for air circulation.

Be aware of the spread of late blight in your area and start spraying with fungicide as a preventative measure if you know blight is present. Bordeaux mixture is a copper-based fungicide that is recommended as a preventative for LB, brand name Bordo. If you do get blight, pull up all plants and dispose of in the trash, do not compost.

Make sure to clean up the tomato plant debris well in the Fall.

Blossom End rot isn't a disease, it is more to do with inconsistent watering. Some tomatoes are more susceptible than others to this.
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby Dumbo » May 07, 2012 7:07 pm

Thanks Donna.

yeah I was checking out some pictures, but in all honesty it looks like plants in bad need of water, or some photo's resemble leafs similar to plants that got too much fertilizer (where they dry up around the edges and turn brown).

The only characteristic I have been able to pin-point so far is what looks like a brown spot(s) on the drying leaves. But I don't know if a brown spot is what to look for.

I have some Wilson Bordo powder here (think it's copper sulfate, but would have to double check that). Used it once on melon plants a few years back when they had this white/silvery powdery mildew type thing.

So this stuff can be sprayed on plants as a preventive medicine type thing before any possible issue arises?

Tomato's only?
Eeyore wrote:Brenda is right, you have to let that plot sit for a year or 2. Plant your toms in planters this year.

OGrubber gave good directions that I would follow to rid yourself of pathogens (telling you, she should write a book):

Copy/paste (credit Ogrubber):
Solarizing is best done during the height of summer - intense heat and sun without too much in the way of rain. Call it the dog days of summer. You need a good month [length of time/wise] for any of it to be really effective. The idea is to kill off weed seeds to a depth of a couple of inches or to kill off soil pathogens, if you are having trouble with fungal diseases or blights, etc. Obviously, the area is of no use as far as growing anything for the season, except maybe a late season [fall] cold crop.
IMO, black plastic is the better choice, because it doesn't allow for any pre-growth [which, once it bakes off under clear plastic, does create a type of mulch which reduces the temps that reach the soil] reducing the effects of "solarizaton". Also, if you intend to "work" the soil afterwards, it really doesn't do anything about the remaining "weed seed bank" below the solarized area since you are bringing that up to the surface when you till.
So. To be really effective, you need to solarize a bed successively all season - till/solarize, then till again and solarize, and again, for the whole season to get most of your weed seed bank.If you are only wanting to kill off sod, to put in a new garden this is a good method, but remember, all it does is kill the sod and surface seeds. If you are wanting to kill off pathogens, this is a reliable way of doing that.
In your case, you want to get your garden going this spring [I take it?] so solarization would not be something you would be looking to do, as far as bed prep for this year is concerned.


So I think this pathogen can be gotten rid of in a season if you practice solarization-tilling-solarization, rinse, repeat.

It's the I.D. of it that I find hard at the moment.
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby davefrombc » May 07, 2012 7:47 pm

The biggest cause of blossom end rot and blight in the tomatoes is from the plants getting wet when fruiting.. Water the ground around them only with a soaker hose or similar to keep the water off the leaves and tomatoes.. A plastic canopy affair over them will keep the rain off them in soggy climates like we have too often.
BC Fraser Valley zone 7/8
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby Dumbo » May 07, 2012 8:22 pm

In regards to Wilson Bordo, I just checked it out and it says for blight apply when tomatoes are 12-16 inches high and repeat every 7 to 10 days.

PEI has a bit of info, and shows only one picture at the bottom of the PDF with a brown stem.
http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/af ... garden.pdf
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Re: Tomato Blight / Blossom End Rot

Postby DonnaZn2SK » May 07, 2012 9:59 pm

Dumbo wrote:In regards to Wilson Bordo, I just checked it out and it says for blight apply when tomatoes are 12-16 inches high and repeat every 7 to 10 days.

PEI has a bit of info, and shows only one picture at the bottom of the PDF with a brown stem.
http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/af ... garden.pdf

Marc,
In the year we had blight, I knew a person who had blight all around her and she managed to keep it at bay by preventative spraying of this fungicide.

Late Blight is quite distinctive. The leaves and stem turn brown/black and the fruit develops "leathery" patches near the top by the stem (it's where the spores have landed).
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