Thanks to plot holder Fiona Heath for putting together this useful guide on tomato blight.
Last year was one of the worst for tomato blight on all our sites. It’s a disease caused by an airborne fungus-like organism that spreads rapidly in the foliage and fruit of tomatoes in wet weather. Its spores can stay in the soil for up to 4 years.
Symptoms of blight:-
- Leaves shrivel and turn brown.
- Brown lesions appear on the stem.
- Brown patches appear on green and red fruit, more mature fruit will decay rapidly.
- The whole of an infected plant must be removed from site; roots, stem and fallen tomatoes. Do not compost or dig into the soil.
There is no cure, but prevention is the best control measure:-
- Rotate your crops. Don’t plant in the same spot as last year’s tomatoes or potatoes.
- Give your plants some space. Plants should be at least 24 inches apart to allow adequate air circulation among leaves to keep them dry.
- Water the soil around your plants. Avoid overhead watering.
- Mulch around the base. Fungus can spread up from the soil. Remove lower leaves.
- Try using disease resistant varieties.
Hopefully, if we’re vigilant, we can prevent the spread of blight and have a bountiful crop of tomatoes.