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tomato blight help

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by Laurel on April 18, 2005 09:52 AM
When I saw my tomatoes turn brown and hard, I didn't know what it was. Took one in to the nursery and they told me it was bllight. They also told me there was no hope of getting rid of it, but to wait for 5 years before trying again. I was also told not to let rain hit the plants, not easy in Western Washington. Then I read an article about this nasty virus, it gave me hope, in using fresh cow manure. In the fall we put on a load of fresh stuff and tilled it in. I planted tomatoes the next spring and they were not as bad, but still had some of the junk on them. We got more fresh manure that fall. I have heard many times not to use fresh manure, but now I think it is all right, just put it on early in the fall, as soon as the garden is cleared, and till it in. As for the rain hitting the plants, I use lots of grass mulch under them so the rain can't bounce the dirt back onto the plants.
by loz on April 18, 2005 04:13 PM
Hi there Laurel, and welcome to the forum!

I'm moving your post over to the Vegetable section okay?

Thanks for joining us all!

by obywan59 on April 18, 2005 04:51 PM
Mighty-Milk Tomato Blight Cure

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered milk
1/4 cup Epsom salts
1 shovelful of compost

Mix all ingredients except the 2 tablespoons powdered milk in the bottom of the planting hole. Set the tomato plant in and fill with soil. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons powdered milk around the plant, and lightly mix it into the soil.

Every few weeks throughout the season, sprinkle an additional 2 tablespoons powdered milk around each tomato plant and work it into the soil.

This is actually more of a preventive of fungal diseases than a cure.

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May the force be with you
by Sorellina on April 19, 2005 07:01 PM
Were the tomatoes completely brown and hard or only on the bottoms (blossom end)? If the latter, it could be blossom end rot which can happen if there are periods of sun then rain then sun, which I know can happen in Western WA. It can also happen if you've got tomatoes in pots and your watering isn't consistant. Your recourse if this is the case is to plant resistant varieties and for sure, mulch, mulch, mulch beneath your plants to prevent splash-back. I use about 4" of straw underneath which serves several purposes. It prevents splash-back, warms the soil early in the season, then keeps it cooler later in the season, and keeps paths between plants dry. FYI, paste varieties are notorious for being susceptible to blossom end rot.

Hope this helps,

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by Katb on April 26, 2005 09:18 PM
Epson salt is great for lots of plants I use it in all my garden flowers & veggies tree,s & strubs it works great.
by callalilly13 on May 23, 2006 04:38 PM

Thanks so much for the Mighty Milk Tomato Blight Cure. It actually worked well for me last year. I had gotten the recipe out of a secret gardening hints book. I couldn't find the recipe until I stumbled upon the one you posted. We have always had a really bad problem with blight on tomatoes ever since I can remember as a child. Until just last year did we really find anything that worked. Thanks again! [clappy]

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by johnCT on May 24, 2006 01:06 AM
You really need to take the advice you get from people at nurseries and garden centers with a grain of salt. Listen to people here like Julianna. Do you have any pictures of the affected fruit? Was the plant's leaves affected also? Blight is a fungal disease and certainly could be your problem, but there are ways to help prevent it without waiting five years to plant again. One, of which, you already started doing.....mulching the plants to keep soil from splashing onto the plants foliage and fruit. It could also be blossom end rot as Julianna noted which looks very similar but does not affect the plants foliage and is present only on the bottom(blossom end) of the fruit. Another thing you could use is a fungicide spray on the plants every couple weeks.

Here's an article from TGH about it which may be helpful, although it is not technically a virus, but a fungus.

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John - Zone 6

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