6

My tomatoes succumbed to blight, and I have now uprooted the mouldy remains of the plants and put them in my council green waste bin. There are currently rotten green tomatoes scattered on the ground where the wildlife is feasting on them.

I don't intend to plant tomatoes in the same spot next year.

Do I need to do anything to contain the blight spores now - or if I dig the patch over in preparation for a different crop next year, will things be OK?

8

The best way to deal with blighted tomato is to burn them as soon as they succumb, assuming its late in the season. Hopefully your council uses a hot composting system which should kill off spores, so it won't be a problem. You need to remove all and any debris from the tomatoes asap, including rotten tomatoes on the ground. As you say, dig over and plant a different crop there next year. There isn't much that can be done to prevent blight in tomatoes particularly - late blight in the UK is a problem if the weather is damp, not a problem otherwise, and the spores are windborne. Spraying the crop with a suitable fungicide if the weather turns damp in summer may help to prevent it, but what's available to non commercial growers isn't that effective, so it's up to you whether you try it or not. I don't think I'd bother, frankly.

4

The best way to prevent late tomato blight is to make SURE that no water splashes up from the soil onto your plants. This is more difficult than it sounds...you've got spores everywhere now since you allowed the tomatoes to be eaten. Doesn't matter that you've planted tomatoes in a different spot, consider all your soil (and your neighbor's) now have spores.

I would mulch the top of the soil beneath your tomatoes (with soil-less mulch, ie. straw), build a mini-hoop house over the top and prune all leaves that are 12" or less from the ground. Minimum. All it takes is ONE spore, ONE drop of water landing on the leaves (last I read the stem is 50/50) and the entire plant is infected and unusable. Have no idea if the fruit is toxic, I doubt it, but it will continue to blacken even if preserved.

But, I appreciate you allowing the tomatoes to be eaten by the wildlife!! I grew tomatoes in soil no one had grown a garden much less tomatoes for miles. And I lost at least 30 huge plants full of tomatoes. From the very first spots to totally black...3 days!

Fungicides only work if you've sprayed them PRIOR to infection. But although I've tried this, using NEEM, can't stand the smell much less the thought of eating them. Think of fungicides acting as a sort of raincoat. But once the tomatoes have been infected, there is NOTHING you can do to stop the infection.

Bamboo's advice is correct, just thought I'd add a few more thoughts...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.