prevent tomato late blight & green tomatoes

oliveoyl3September 9, 2010

What works for you to prevent late blight on your lovely tomatoes that aren't yet ripened due to our cool summer?

Last month while at the farmer's market in Friday Harbor, WA on San Juan Island a guy had bushels of ripe tomatoes, which prompted me to inquire as I had only had a few cherry tomatoes by that rainy 2nd Saturday of August. He said - greenhouses! Cover your tomatoes or you'll get late blight.

Then I went to the Master Gardeners table to inquire & they said that 1st it wasn't late & 2nd just cover up your tomatoes with plastic okay to touch plants, use some bamboo stakes to help hold it up if you'd like. Mulch to prevent the splashing up.

Is that the trick?

I haven't seen blight yet here. My dad had one tomato with it in his container garden nearby in Kent.

Should I be worried with this drizzle we've had this week? Should I be throwing up the plastic menagerie? I hesitate to create a flapping plastic mess out there.

We have 2 tomatoes showing color & the rest are all frog green. Beautiful, but not going to make me happy if they don't ripen. Anyone have a good recipe for green tomato relish? I have the Ball Canning book recipe using:

green tomatoes


green peppers



brown sugar

mustard & celery seed



Is the taste worth the trouble? What foods are served with it?

Bringing in green tomatoes, wrapping in paper, packing in boxes, checking daily for ripening is my usual method for handling the inevitable unripened that are at least showing color. I am thinking that I'll still have some of the green hardballs come October & need to make relish I guess.

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You asked "Should I be worried with this drizzle we've had this week? "

No. Must have more than moisture. Temperatures are currently too cool

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In Friday Harbor you would be best to grow tomato plants and other warm season vegetables in frames, throughout the entire season. Any time it is going to be below tropical temperatures (50s) at night these should be covered.

Tomato plants are right at home where night temperatures are in the 90s. Puget Sound seldom has day temperatures in the 90s.

Last time I grew tomato plants, some 'Sunglo', it was on Camano Island. Just as I had the first nice set starting to ripen it became damp and chilly and they blighted right down. This was in August, in an open, uncovered bed.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 2:15PM
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I used the recipe on for green tomato relish but I added some really hot peppers. Canned a bunch of it and gave a lot as gifts. It was an absolute hit and I am going to have plenty of green tomatoes to make more this year!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:29AM
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I am in oregon in the willamette valley. I anticipate many green tomatoes that will need rescuing from the cold soon. I was told by a friend that you can uproot your plants,hang them upside-down in a warm place and the tomatoes will ripen on the plant. I am going to try it as soon as the temperatures go down. I would like to hear from anyone who has tried this.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 2:49PM
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olive grower, I have done that. I works!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 2:57AM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

The tomatoes have been dribbling in one to a few at a time, but today I was able to pick my first basket, only 2/3 full, 16" across by 5" deep. Last year I picked a basket every few days. But I did have 90 plants instead of 24. I finished my pvc pipe tomato house and covered it with plastic the day before the end of summer rains started. But to prevent it from being blown away like last year I ran the plastic to the ground so it has basically no ventilation. I'm seeing more mold, especially at the stem end or in cracks. I don't know if opening the plastic up a little on a sunny day might help that... I know I am going to devote more space and time to other vegetables that are not so picky, like beans, cucumbers, squash, and greens.

I've seen a couple of other local gardens recently that had very large and lush plants with very few tomatoes set on, or lots of tomatoes but very few ripe. It's a tough year.

Here is a link that might be useful: my tomato house

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 5:45AM
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I've got some umbrella cloches I've put over my cherry tomatoes. I don't know if it's going to work, but I figured it can't hurt. I'll let you know.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 3:59PM
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