Change my soil

readheads(6)August 27, 2012

I got slammed pretty hard by some sort of fungus this year. Leavesstarted turning yellow then dying in June and took the whole plants by Aug 1st.

I grow 20 plants in the same holes each year due to limited space. I dig the holes deep (2 ft) and compost, etc but I keep getting the fungus (worse this year). To help next year I want to remove the top 4-6 inches of soil and replace it with new soil.

2 questions:

Does anyone know how deep a fungus "lives" in the dirt ?

Does anyone know of the best place to get my new dirt ?

I'd like to get the "black dirt" of Warwick, NY but understand they cannot sell it. I need 4 yards.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Which fungus? Different fungal diseases have different life spans, different methods of spread (many are even airborne not soil borne), different survival rates and methods. And fungus in and of itself isn't necessarily bad. There are many good fungi that live in the soil and are beneficial to the garden.

So back-track a bit and focus on exactly what the issue is/was rather than just assuming that replacing all the dirt in the garden will fix the problem. Very expensive, lots of work and likely won't fix the problem anyway.

Many plant tomatoes in the exact same place for decades with no problems. So what efforts have to made to ID the exact problem? Taken samples to your local county extension office for diagnosis? Post pics on line for assistance in diagnosing? Provided specific details of the symptoms? Leaves turning yellow and then dying could be lots of things, even just over-watering. Explored the many tomato disease diagnosis sites on line to compare the pics to your plants? Contacted other local gardeners for diagnosis assistance?

And if you decide that you simply must replace all your soil then do some reading of the FAQs and discussions over on the Soil & Compost forum here first. Lots of relevant information there.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:42PM
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I have had the same problem in NW NJ.I would get the blight every year too but could not change the soil.This what I did and I can get nice crop of tomatoes.I turned the soil by hand not my Mantis and turned as deep as I could go.Next I would buy seeds from a seed house like Tomato Growers Supply Co,not a Chain store garden center. After I planted I always put down Mulch, salt hay or straw so after a rain storm you would not get any splash up from the dirt. and I think most important,I would spray after every rain storm with an anti-fungal. I have had good luck with Serenade.Like I said this helped me and this year and has staved off the the Blight which is heat breaking after spending so much time to get fresh tomatoes I am still picking nice toms

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 6:45AM
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i doubt changing the dirt will do any good / you need to start spraying early / start spraying when u plant you want to prevent not try to cure the fungus / mulch helps alot too

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 11:24AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Spray if it's a disease. But ....

Other than OP's guess at the underlying problem, no diagnosis has been made. Cultural problems are more common than disease.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 11:39PM
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