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
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
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
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).
Early blight is for the most part and airbourne disease. Many people try to
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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