[NAFEX] Blight and Old Wives Tales
tolenio at sentex.net
Sun Oct 2 16:22:09 EDT 2005
In regards to tomato blight...
This year I tried something new (old). I had always suffered from tomato
blight from soil splashed on leaves. This year I put down a mat of wet
leaves under the plants when they were young. The garden walkways I just
laid down plastic sheeting runners, the edges of the runners covered with
the mat of leaves.
Had zero blight this season, and NO weeding.
I just collected bagged leaves in the autumn from the curbside, stuck my
garden hose into the bag and filled them with water, making the leaves
wet. Then I let the wet leaves rot in the bags all winter.
When I put in my tomato plants, the wet leaves spread underneath (3"
thick) was a perfect mat. Held in heat, kept down weeds, and prevented
On Sun, 2 Oct 2005 13:23:10 -0500, Doreen Howard <gardendiva at charter.net>
> Most blights are transferred by water from soil. Rainfall or water from
> hose causes soil laden with blight spores to splash up on the lower
> of a tomato plant transferring the spores to a friendly growing
> That's why a thick blanket of mulch under tomatoes works well. Your
> volunteers may have natural immunity to certain blights. If they are
> offspring of a hybrid, they may be versions of an open-pollinated variety
> used to create the hybrid. Also, plants that naturalize in soil full of
> biological life have mycorrhizae colonized on their roots. Mycorrhizae
> produce target-specific pathogens that can kill hostile fungi, giving
> a natural immunity. The bottom line with tomatoes is to mulch thickly
> build healthy soil full of soil microbes.
> Doreen Howard
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jim Fruth" <jfruth at uslink.net>
> To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2005 7:57 AM
> Subject: [NAFEX] Blight and Old Wives Tales
>> No doubt we've all heard the old wive's tale about tomato plants
>> becoming blighted because their leaves touched the ground. Well, I've
>> staked my tomato plants every year and they were blighted every year.
>> year something else happened. A number of volunteer tomato plants
>> where they were planted last year. I did nothing with them. I just let
>> them crawl across the ground and not one of them is blighted. These are
>> offspring of plants that were blighted last year and they are growing
>> 50' from this year's staked (and blighted) plants. So where does blight
>> come from?
>> Jim Fruth
>> Brambleberry Farm
>> Pequot Lakes, MN
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