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Latest posts by Italophile

TOMATO BLIGHT- What to do next year?

Posted: 16/09/2014 at 08:05

Jill, your situation isn't as dire as you think. "Blight" has become a generic term for the various fungal diseases that can affect tomatoes. The most common in the domestic garden are Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot.

Your soil hasn't been poisoned, per se. In all likelihood, fungal spores will have fallen from the plants to the soil beneath. They can and will survive a winter on top of the soil. The danger in planting next season in the same, untouched soil is that watering the plants will splash the spores back up onto the new plants' foliage, thus infecting them.

For space reasons, I've planted toms in the same spot for a decade or more. Prior to planting in a new season, I turn over the soil very well, burying any spores. Underground, they can't do any damage. Then I refresh the soil on top. Any fungal problems I suffer during the new season will be the result of fresh infections during the season. Fungal spores are airborne, they travel on the breeze. 

When to pick green tomatoes

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 08:45

Ripening is down to temperatures. Optimum temps are low-20sC and above. The lower the temps, factoring in overnight temps as well, the longer the wait. As a general rule, come the point when it's consistently warmer inside than outside, you're better off taking them inside.

Tomato blight

Posted: 05/09/2014 at 10:22

Just what the tomato world needed - another Blight. 

Tomato blight

Posted: 05/09/2014 at 09:31

Late Blight is usually less common in home gardens than Early Blight but, sadly, there are no guarantees. As with any of the fungal problems, all you can do is be diligent with your housekeeping - as much space as possible between plants to aid air circulation; keep the foliage as dry as possible; remove the lower branches and foliage to keep at least a foot of space between the lowest foliage and the soil; even light pruning to avoid clumps of impenetrable foliage elsewhere on the plant.

Or you can spray preventively - that is, starting before any symptoms appear. Once they appear, spraying won't help.

Tomato blight

Posted: 05/09/2014 at 09:03

It all depends on what sort of blight, Sue. "Blight" has become a generic term for any sort of fungal disease. There are two true Blights - Early and Late. Early Blight is manageable with good housekeeping - removing affected leaves as soon as symptoms appear, etc. The plant will go on producing. With good housekeeping, cold weather will stop the plant before EB does.

Late Blight is a different matter. It can and will kill a plant within a week. 

There are at least half a dozen other fungal and viral diseases that are loosely called "Blight". Few of them are as destructive as Late Blight.

Blight resistance only means that a plant is bred to cope better with certain fungal diseases than a non-resistant variety. It doesn't mean the plant won't develop disease. No tomato plant will resist Late Blight. 

Major pruning of fig tree.

Posted: 27/08/2014 at 07:21

Prune when dormant, Mountainranger. This article gives a very good guide.

Tomato variety suggestions

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 13:04

Mmmm. Pics a bit on the small side.

 Pffft. Now they're distorted. I give up.


Harvesting Butternut Squash

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 12:56

Sounds like either a crossed seed or a stray variety crept into the packet. Two years ago I had a packet of melon seeds of which 90% were crossed. I ended up with all sorts of strange shapes.

Tomato variety suggestions

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 12:54

Just harking back to the Cherokee Purple variety that I mentioned up the thread. Here's the first one for the season. Delayed because the plants went back into pots for a month while I was away on hols, and this one is smaller than typical for the same reason. Usually at least a third bigger. 

Easy to grow, mid/late season, medium-sized plant, not hugely prolific so you'd need a couple of plants. Utterly delicious!


Harvesting Butternut Squash

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 08:18

I'd leave them as long as possible, Madeleine.

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