Tomato Blight

For the past 4 years my dad has had problems with his tomato patch, a patch that he grows between 14 and 16 plants every year (Zone 5 Chicago). Thanks to the discussions on this newsgroup, it appears his tomatoes had (and still have this year) blight. The leaves get blotches, produce one round of tomatoes, and completely whither away and die. Over the years he still got a huge load of tomatoes and ironically last year was a record haul however he didn't like how the plants looked after they produced their fruit and he wasn't getting any secondary or continuous growth after the first round. So I convinced him to not compost any of the dead plants this year and move the tomato plot somewhere else next year.
I'm wondering, after 4 some years of blight, how many years will it take before he can grow tomatoes there again? Next year the plan is to grow wildflowers in the plot and I plan to do a fall planting of seeds for him. My dad likes to grow herbs and other veggies and I'm wondering if that would be OK to do there while the plot heals or should we just stick to the wildflowers?
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Doesnt' really sound like tomato blight. But maybe there is more than one disease that gets the "blight" label. Here is one page I found that tells about tomato blight. http://www.thegardenhelper.com/blight1.htm
Tomatoes are very sensative to walnut trees in the soil near where they are planted. Are there any walnut trees within 50 feet of the tomatoes? Here is a link showing walnut tree wilt. Also other tomato diseases. http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/PhotoPages/Impt_Diseases/Tom_Walnut.htm
There are other trees that produce Juglone, the chemical that causes the wilt. Check out this site for a list of those trees. http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/dp_hfrr/extensn/problems/walwilt.htm
Wil
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that's good.

I am guessing you could try again in 2007, taking special care that the tomato leaves never touch the soil. That means cageing the plants, and watering from below (no splashing, just place the hose under the plants).
Next year the plan is to grow

Yes, you can grow just about anything there, except relatives of the tomato. These would include peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. But cabbage, all sorts of greens, all sort of squash/cucumbers, all sort of onion/garlic, carrots, beets, etc., and of course any herb, all those will do fine there.
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PS. Beside avoiding splashing with the hose, if you also make sure that rain will not splash, that might be the difference. And the best way to do that is to lay down any sort of mulch ( wood chips or leaves will be fine), and then plant the tomato plants through the mulch. The lower leaves will stay clean, and you will get less or no blight.
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last yr was my 1st veg garden and it did real good. this yr it looks terrible...vegs look strange ie: wrong shape like eggplants that r long curved like bannanas...corn stalks r small. tomatos (fav part) r sort of ok...there ok but the plants r yellowing like its almost winter..y is that ne 1?? my squashes r the only thing that looks normal. im new here btw..ty 4 reading and helping!!
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I have same problem on container grown plants. There is a blight spray which I applied late but it appears to be working. I had problem in previous years but this year has been especially wet - have not had to water the lawn a single time. Figure that was part of the problem. Frank
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On Mon, 16 Aug 2004 13:47:13 -0500, Mark Anderson

The first step is to figure out what is afffecting the plants. This is a great site with pictures of common tomato diseases. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/tomatoproblemsolver/index.html Once identified, the guide will let you determine if the disease can be treated or prevented. It actually sounds to me like the tomatoes suffered a form of mildew (like powdery mildew), which can be treated and prevented with both conventional and organic approaches. Crop rotation is not very practical in the back yard garden, so prevention is the key.
HTH
-Rick
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