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Late Blight: Not Yet

July 28, 2009

As far as I can tell, my tomatoes do not have late blight. There are some spotted yellow leaves on the lowest parts of the plants, but it’s not the blight.

We have had an enormous amount of rain in the Northeast–8.59″ just in July in CT–creating ideal conditions for late blight, an airborne fungal disease that decimates potato and tomato plants.

As an organic gardener I expect there is little I can do to combat an infection, though even chemical fungicides have a minimal impact on the disease. However, I’m trying to be watchful because my blight will quickly become someone else’s, and inevitably the commercial grower’s.

My only hope–like that of farmers across the region who are facing a loss of their entire tomato crops–is to bag and toss the diseased plants and hope it won’t happen next year. Don’t burn the plants, don’t send them off to the town’s yard waste collection, and for God’s sake, don’t compost them.

I talked with a coworker who’s neighboring farmer has blight. He expects he can combat it as long as it doesn’t rain. If it takes over, he has about a three week supply of tomatoes, and then that’s it. No tomatoes.

Guess what happened when I got home that day?

Rain and sun, as usual

Rain and sun, as usual

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 30, 2009 10:55 am

    The rain, the rain, the rain. But your garden looks beautiful despite it. We’re worried about the blight too. It’s so tragic.

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