Blight prevention? Soil additives??

dstucki85July 18, 2006

Blight is horific in my tomatoe garden...is there anything I can do, particluarly in the offseason (soil additives, etc) to prevent the onset of blight in the spring/summer?

I use Daconil to control it as much as possible, but still end up removing a significant amount of leaves on a weekly basis...and it makes the toms taste a little funny even after washing them ;)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

gardenboy

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suze9(z8b Bastrop Co., TX)

gardenboy, I cannot emphasize enough how helpful and relevant it is on a gardening forum to have your state (or country) and zone information entered so that it shows up when you post. This can be added/edited on your Member page. Where do you live?

As for the blight, this tends to be used as a general term that could mean several things. Are you referring to Early Blight (Alternaria solani) or something else?

Thickly mulching (I prefer wheat straw) helps limit splashback reinfection from your soil. However, fungal disease is also airborne. In addition, the spores can multiply rapidly in hot humid climates.

Do you use the Daconil before or after you start seeing symptoms, and are you coating all surfaces of the plant when you spray?

Btw, using Daconil should not affect the taste of fruit in the slightest.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:59PM
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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

To my knowledge, chlorothalonil (the substance in Daconil) has no taste. I'm relying on secondhand information for that, though. :)

"Blight" is not a technical term; could you describe the symptoms you're seeing?

--Alison

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 10:44PM
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dstucki85

Appreciate the feedback so far...I belive I'm in zone 6A. If you look at a map of Indiana and think of it as a boot, I would be really near the toe.

I'm almost positive it's early blight, per the 'Tomato Problem Solver' link posted around and seaking with others.

I think I'll try mulching next year. Actually, I'd planned to use a large plastic tarp with approx 1' diameter holes for the plants...and mulch around the bases. Don't laugh, I just don't have alot of time to till/keep weeds down.

So...maybe Daconil doesn't cause a strange taste...but I can notice a slight twang from the skin that tastes strangely like the smell of daconil. Maybe I'm mixing it too strong...or maybe it's just me.

It just seems like I can have my same varieties in a 'new' garden place and completely avoid e. blight, but when I plant in my 'normal' place, it runs rampant (spelling?). Therefore I assumed (possibly incorrectly) this frustrating stuff lays dormat in the soil.

gardenboy

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 11:04PM
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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

It does lie in the soil, and gets splashed up onto the leaves by rain. Your thought about mulching is a great idea.

I've never used Daconil, but I have to wonder now whether I would taste something too -- I'm pretty sensitive to that sort of thing, much more than most people. It is pretty close to harmless in people, with an astronomical LD50 number; you'd pretty well have to chug the stuff to have a serious effect on mammals. That doesn't help with the aftertaste, though, and I wish I could suggest an alternative... chlorothalonil is simply the best antifungal we have.

It physically can't absorb past the skin; try using a mild soap to wash the tomatoes with, see whether it helps at all.

--Alison

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 12:47AM
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