Late Blight Tomatoes Left on Field Overwinter

bb16March 3, 2013

Last year we got late blight pretty bad; everything brown and dead within a few days. I'm new to gardening and think it is correctly identified but all of the farmers in the area also claimed to get late blight @ same time. The plants were left on the field all winter, some with plastic mulch.

Does it make sense to pull them now? Good amount of work for 10 ~50ft rows. I would imagine they would freeze here in coastal MA, but am now worrying about an early warm spell followed quickly by a layer of snow (to perhaps insulate along with the plastic?) cutting down the winter freeze period.

I'm rotating some cucurbit/sunflowers into the area that was tomatoes before and moving tomatoes to the adjacent plot, but still worried spores will survive and move. Also growing some LB resistant varieties (Defiant & Mountain Magic, and also Brandywine for a baseline) and considering hydrogen dioxide this year.

So, would pulling make sense or is it all in the soil anyway now? Or should the winter cold here in MA take care of it?


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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

All that debris is harboring the spores for this year's disease. Should have been removed last year. Or, plowed/dug under.


Here is a link that might be useful: management late blight

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Of course, I should have removed them last year... Rookie mistake on my part. Now that I haven't done that, though, will removing them help?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:45PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It will be a start. Perhaps plow/dig them under.

Beyond that, phone your county's Extension Service office to ask for info appropriate to your growing region.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:43AM
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