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
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?
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.
There are other trees that produce Juglone, the chemical that causes the
wilt. Check out this site for a list of those trees.
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
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.
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.
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!!
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.
The first step is to figure out what is afffecting the plants.
This is a great site with pictures of common tomato diseases.
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.
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