Tomato blight

My garden is located in Iowa and this year I had to move it into my yard in a spot that was lawn for 30 years. Previously it was bordering my backyard in a farmer's field that he didn't plant due to the utility easements buried there which would have been damaged with his large equipment but was suitable for garden use with his blessing. I planted 2 Early Girl, 2 Big Boy, 2 Celebrity, 3 Better Boy, and 1 Sweet 100s for the lone cherry tomato plant. The tomatoes are starting to ripen and I have already picked about a dozen so far and I noticed the plants are getting blight starting on the bottom limbs as they usually have done in prior years! I read from various sources this is caused when the vines contact the ground or when the soil splashes onto the vines so when I planted the fairly large plants from a reputable nursery, I put a 2 pound coffee can around each plant to keep the leaves from contacting the ground and for an aid to water them when needed. The plants are all thriving and are laden with tomatoes with the vines now growing over the cages which are 5 feet high. I cut off the lower branches as the vines grew so as to keep them completely away from the ground and each time I water, I fill the coffee cans and never use a sprinkler on the plants to prevent disease according to information I read about watering tomato plants. In other words; "everything by the book". Years previous, I didn't use cans around the plants and didn't cut off the limbs contacting the ground and used a sprinkler on the plants so it wasn't surprising the blight always set in! I applied lime and 10-10-10 garden fertilizer and roto-tilled it into the soil prior to planting any vegetables. All good advice is welcome! Thanks
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I am sure there are more experienced blight fighters here, but I always mulch with wood chips under the tomatoes. That eliminates splashing amongst other things (it also saves water, elminates weeds, and provides small amounts of fertilization).
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Actually wood chips can reduce the amount of available nitrogen, as bacteria consume soil nitrogen along with the chips.
    -frank
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snipped-for-privacy@u.washington.edu (Frank Miles) wrote in message

not a problem if there are two inches of manure/kitchen scraps under the chips.
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control it with mulches, pruning etc to keep splash up from the ground. The idea probably originated because the disease first shows up on the older leaves, ie those nearer the ground. many of these help sometimes, and some years seem to be better than others. It can be slowed (but not stopped) by appropriate timely application of fungicides like Daconil or fixed copper sulphate, This has to done early in the life cycle of the plant.
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There's a product out called Serenade that's organic and will take care of the early blight. Peaceful Valley Farm supply carries it.............

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