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Tomatoes

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by PepperJane on September 27, 2005 12:33 AM
Hello,
I am mostly a vegetable gardener on a 10 acre hobby farm. Most of my crops are fairly successful and I have a freezer full of my harvest to show for it. But the one thing I love to grow the most is the one I have the most trouble with and that is Tomatoes. I have two vegetable gardens and after having blight on my tomatoes 3 years ago I gave that garden a rest as was prescribed. This year I tried to grow tomatoes there again and lo'n behold they had blight again. Even though it was not the weather for blight. It was not write off crop but still it was touched by the disease killing off foilage and leaving black spots on the tomatoes and seriously limiting the harvest. Any tips? Will I never be able to grow tomatoes there again?  -
by loz on September 27, 2005 12:47 AM
Hi there, and welcome to the forum...I'm going to move your post to the fruit and vegetable forum where it will get more answers....

Laura
by Sorellina on September 30, 2005 10:12 PM
PepperJane,

I sympathize with you, it can be frustrating, but not all foliage diseases are blight and not all blights are the same. Some nightshade diseases are inevitable as the weather changes for the worse and will eventually kill them. My tomato plants are oh so unhappy right now. The low last night was 4C and my plants are over 8' tall, so it's not really practical to try to cover them so they were forced to fend for themselves. We have 2 tomatillo plants in pots that we took indoors, though. My tomato plants all have some sort of foliage disease on them right now and it's only a matter of time before they croak. Any fruit that looks remotely like it's trying to blush and ripen is picked and left to ripen on the table. Probably in the next couple of weeks, I'll go out there and rip out the vines, hanging them upside down in the house to let the remainder of the fruit try to ripen as best it can.

Bottom line, even with blights and other diseases, you can still get a bountiful harvest if you prepare your soil in Spring and Fall diligently with plenty of compost, feed after transplanting and again at fruit set, and monitor for insect pests.

Buona fortuna and wish I could offer more consolation,

Julianna

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by papito on September 30, 2005 10:27 PM
PepperJane,

From ehow.com:

quote:
Rid your soil completely of weeds, pests and diseases - without harmful chemicals. The process of solarizing uses the heat of the summer sun to raise the soil temperature high enough to kill the harmful organisms and seeds hiding in the soil.
Info on How to solarize soil.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by Tamara from Minnesota on October 02, 2005 11:19 AM
Hmm I am interested in solarizing my soil. I wonder if I could do it now for 6 weeks and in March and April too? I would never, ever be able to skip a growing season! I thought once my back trouble would make it hard to garden but I would never give up!
Anyway I have terrible fungal problems in my garden that are due to problems from years ago. I bought a tomato that was supposedly late blight resistant but it didn't do well from the start. So annoying! [Mad] I plan to plant my tomatoes in my lawn, near the house, south side, by the air conditioner. Hubby will not like it but I won't tell him until it is done. I will try to sterilize everything I use on tomatoes, even gloves and trowels etc. If this doesn't work I don't know what I will do!

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by peppereater on October 03, 2005 12:31 AM
Tamara...I keep hearing about the benefits of spraying compost tea on plants. The micro organisms in it eat fungal spores, harmful bacteria, etc. I plan to try this on my tomatoes next year.
by Patty S on October 03, 2005 09:42 AM
PepperJane, I realize that you have a lot of elbow room to grow things there, BUT... have you thought about planting your tomatoes in containers? Better than NOT being able to harvest your own tomatoes at all, I guess!

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by PepperJane on October 03, 2005 08:47 PM
WEll indeed that is a great idea as I did just that and had oodles of cherry tomatoes but the other varieties do ok but not nearly the yield that I have had in my garden years before I was struck with blight. But so true I am very happy to have some delicious fresh tomatoes just not enough to make my delicious salsa. [flower] [Embarrassed]
by johnCT on October 03, 2005 11:20 PM
Jane, What kind of watering practices do you use? Do you mulch? Do you dispose of your plants after the season is over?

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John - Zone 6
by PepperJane on October 05, 2005 05:37 AM
I use a red covering designed for tomatoes as a top cover. We had plenty enough rain so I did not have to water other than to miracle grow them once amonth or so. And yes the diseased plants get destroyed they do not go into my compost. [Smile]
by Garden Wisher on October 24, 2005 12:55 PM
I wanted to grow tomato plants. Beats going grocery shopping. But I never had the schedueld time. [Razz]
by Tamara from Minnesota on October 28, 2005 09:46 AM
BTW, last week I covered my garden with clear plastic. It has been really warm. I will leave it on as long as possible in spring.

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