Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tomato Early Blight

Last summer, I lost all eight of my Roma tomato plants to early blight. Around mid-summer, the plants wilted dramatically. It was a common problem in our area, and a friend told me that early blight was best solved by destroying the plants before it spread to any others. I removed all the Roma tomato plants; only two cherry tomato plants survived.
I thought that blight was spread through the soil, so when I planted this year's tomato plants, they went into a brand new raised bed with new soil. But there are no gardening guarantees, and a few weeks ago I noticed that a few of my Amish Paste tomato plants were drooping. In the photo above, you'll see that the plants on the right are healthy, but a few of the middle plants are rather weak looking. By the way, the cherry tomatoes appear unaffected, although it may be coincidence.

I did a little internet research, later corroborated at my local garden center, which recommended the use of copper fungicide for early blight. This fungicide is not harmful to my bees or chickens, so I mixed some in my pump sprayer and applied one dose before vacation. Eric applied a second dose while I was gone, and yesterday I gave them a third dose.
This is certainly not a miracle cure, but the plants have not died nor has the blight spread to other nearby plants. Tomatoes continue to grow and ripen on the affected vines. It doesn't look great, but it's not disaster either.

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