Fungus disease on tomatoes

Worst year ever, cold, wet, disease. Put up 1 quart of cooked down tomatoes, down from my usual 4-8 gallons. Arghhh.
I do rotate.
I grow all heirlooms.
Is there anything I can do to the soil to make the disease less likely to come back? I cleaned the top of the soil very carefully, getting up all the dead bit of leaves I could find.
Should I grow less tasty but more disease resistant strains next year?
Sad in Mass,
--
Andrew Hall
(Now reading Usenet in rec.gardens.edible...)
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I don't. I don't have room to rotate.

What disease was it? What preventive measures have you already taken?

I've been waging war against the <spit!> Thrips and their weapon of mass destruction, Tomato Spotted Wilt virus for several years now. I've tried three hybrid varieties of tomatoes that are supposed to be resistant to TSWV along with lots of different heirlooms. Only one of the hybrids really showed much resistance, it was a numbered, not named variety that I got from a local nursery.
They produced plenty of tomatoes,but the tomatoes were just ok. I got fewer tomatoes from the pink Brandywines, but, oh my, they were delicious! One pink Brandywine is still putting out tomatoes, although the late blight is finally catching up with it. I also have found that the Stupice tomatoes showed some resistance, as did the Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red. The yellow and red current tomatoes laughed in the face of the <spit!> thrips and, while buried deep in the run amok basil, are still popping out tomatoes.
So, my long, rambly point would be; if you love the taste of the heirlooms tomatoes as much as I do, you might try doing a little research or your own experimentation on what kinds show some resistance to whatever disease it is your tomatoes had.
Hm, and since that puts me over my limit for run on sentences for the day, I'll go and get some actual work done.
Penelope
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On 11/8/04 11:26 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@panix2.panix.com,

I have found if I keep them covered with plastic (so rain does not fall on the leaves) I have good success. You can go basic to fancy...I use an old tent and cover it with plastic...it works great. On some cherry tomatoes I tied string to some stakes and draped plastic over the top. You could try using clothes pins to keep the plastic in place or staple the plastic to the stakes. Lots of different ways to do it. Be creative and you will figure out a way that works for you. Bill
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For real? You put plastic tents over your tomatoes to keep the rain off? Do you do them by the row, or by each individual plant? Does any rain reach the ground around the tomatoes? And doesn't it get all hot and steamy under the plastic, increasing the chances of molds or mildews?
Penelope
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On 11/22/04 9:57 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

Yes, for real. It's called a cold frame... there are lots of sites on the WWW showing how to build them or you can purchase a commercially built one. I just use an old tent (just the frame) and cover it with plastic. My 'tent' is about 20 feet long by 9 feet wide. It is tall enough for me to stand in...8 feet. I plant tomatoes and sweet peppers on the left and right side. When the sun shines I leave both ends open to allow air flow through. Failure to open both ends when the sun is shining will result in fried tomato and pepper plants! I have seen frames built with plastic on the top and on three sides, in a row. How long it has to be would, of course, depend on how many plants you have. There are lots of ways to do it and it does work... Bill
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<bad tomato year, look up thread for details>

Ok, a cold frame is to protect the plants against cold, not from rain. I'm still curious about that. Are the tomato plants in the, well, what I would call a greenhouse, not a cold frame, but are they in the structure to protect them against rain or cold or both?

I have two cold frames. One commercially made that is portable, and one that my father made that is cinder block and glass. Only, it gets much too hot in the summer months around here to even consider leaving the plants in a cold frame without giving it at least partial shade.
I'm in South Carolina, also known as the Mildew State, so air circulation around tomato and pepper plants is important, too. That's why I was curious about your set up and why you went to such lengths to protect them from rain. Around here it gets muggy enough, especially after one of those July or August thunderstorms, that covering the plants from the top would be fairly pointless.
Is it the splatter from the ground up onto the plants during a hard rain that you're trying to prevent?

Forgive me, but I'm a natural blonde:, what is it that the tent is working to do and why?
Penelope
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On 11/23/04 10:26 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

Hi Penelope The reason for both of us not understanding 'the problem or the solution' is because your climate and the one I'm used to are very different. I live on the west coast of Canada in BC. It does not always get hot here (90 degrees F is hot here) and very rarely humid and there is almost always a cooling breeze. So the problems we are trying to solve are very different as will be the solutions. For the record: A cold frame has no artificial heat source where a greenhouse does...that's my definition. And having said that I'm thinking that if my cold frame had glass for the walls I would be inclined to call it a greenhouse...oops! <g> So I guess I really don't know what they/it should be called. Where I live in BC (Vancouver area) the temperature rarely gets above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Our summer temperatures are cooler than what you would experience in South Carolina and in order to get tomatoes to ripen (especially the big beef or beefeater) here, I need to try to maintain a higher temperature and keep the rain off as the rain seems to encourage the tomato blight. My original reply was to Andrew Hall who, in his original post, commented on wet, cold weather conditions. It would seem that Andrew has similar conditions that I have experienced. I solved the problem with an old tent frame covered in plastic... Sorry for the longwinded post. Penelope what success have you had growing tomatoes? And another question: How do you keep your greenhouse/cold frame(?) cool in the summer? Bill
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<bad tomato year, look up thread for details>
Penelope, I'm going to try to present the general environment with a somewhat gloomy overcast of it...
Bill seems to live INSIDE a rain forest...
He indicated British Columbia, Vancouver. When I visited it wasn't too much different from Seattle. 29 days of each month are overcast... although I only visited during the month of June, the people there seemed to indicate that it was a year round condition. There is NO SUNSHINE. :-) Although, Calgary might not be as bad as Vancouver... Bill did mention Vancouver specifically.
When I visited Vancouver I drove from Miami, FL and I was used to Sunshine. I spent a couple weeks in Vancouver and the people there had a bright outlook but they LOVED sunshine. An hour of sunshine was a national holiday. :-) It was odd for me, because after 7 days I felt the gloom of it being overcast so much... and I brought up the question if there was ever any sunshine... they laughed and asked "Sun? What's the sun?" and it became an unending joke...
His cold frame is probably a rain shield... rainforest means 29 days of each month is overcast and/or rainy and there's a lot of shade (forest).
Vancouver is a wonderful city to visit but don't expect to see but an hour of sunshine if you stay a whole month. :-) I think I'm pretty accurate in this statement... if not, Bill can correct me. I might be exagerating... it's like the fish I caught 20 years ago...
-- Jim Carlock Post replies to newsgroup.
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On 11/25/04 12:33 PM, in article akrpd.72054$ snipped-for-privacy@tornado.tampabay.rr.com, "Jim Carlock"

Well, without getting into too much detail...we do have lots of rain. Most of it falls in the winter months. The last two summers we had no rainfall for about three to five months. Watering restrictions were imposed. Lots of sunshine...and things grew very well. The coldframe is to keep the rain off the tomato plants and to keep them in a hotter environment when the sun does not shine...which does happen at times. Some summers, like the last two or more, are hot and sunny. Other summers are cloudy with more rain. It varies. It is definitely not humid here in summer. Because it cools off at night having a cold frame means that we can close it up and maintain a higher temperature for the tomato plants. Not many people here have air conditioners in their homes. If it gets really hot we just suffer through it. It doesn't usually last for too long. There are some months (and years) where the sun won't appear very much...so you are not totally wrong. It depends to which year you are referring. :) Bill
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