How To Get Rid Of Tomato Blight From The Soil

Filed Under: Vegetables, Diseases and Fungus · Keywords: Control, Get, Rid, Tomato, Blight, Soil, Garden · 4314 Views
how can I get rid of tomato blight from the soil

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Joanne Gambarotto

Joanne Gambarotto · Gardenality Seed · Zone 6A · -10° to -5° F
Thanks so much, John, for your detailed answer. I have heard of this method before but wasn't sure if I needed to use clear plastic or if something like a tarp could be used. Last fall, I cleared all the diseased plants away and so now will get some clear plastic to solarize the soil. I'll plant my tomatoes in pots this year. BTW, I'm not Zone 8A - I'm Zone 6B so will probably leave the plastic in place most of the summer. Again, thanks.

7 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Joanne-You're very welcome. I have seen this solarization method done in many of our agricultural areas here in California. I just found a great article on this method by the University of California you may like to read. You can click on the link I noted or copy and past it in your browser to see the article. Its very interesting and informative. It will also explain why using a clear plastic instead of a black plastic is more effective as the black absorbs and deflects part of the heat instead of trapping it. Let me know how you make out.

7 years ago ·
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1 Answer

Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Joanne-The best way to prevent disease and fungus which would include early blight on tomatoes is practicing good preventative measures. I noted a few links below to articles that can help you with causes and remedies for tomato plant diseases. Just click on the links to go directly to the articles. If spores or bacteria already exists in the soil any new planting of tomatoes should not be done this year. Planting in another area or in pots could be done if you are looking for tomatoes this year. Solarizing of the soil can be done to kill any fungal spores or bacteria in the soil. First make sure all parts of old or existing plants are removed from the bed. All parts of the tomato plant can contain this fungus and should be put in a plastic bag and disposed of as the fungus spores can easily be spread to other plants and or areas of the garden. The soil in the bed should be worked turning it to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Smooth out the soil then dig a 4 to 6 inch deep trench around the entire bed. Using a sprinkler slowly soak the bed over the area for an hour or so. Cover the entire area with heavy clear plastic such as a painter's drop cloth. This can be found at any home improvement or hardware store. Some nurseries or garden centers may carry this plastic also. Lay the edges of the plastic in the narrow trench you dug around the area and cover with soil to keep heat from escaping from under the plastic cover. The direct sunlight will heat the covered area killing the existing bacteria. The plastic covering should be left in place for a least 6 weeks. The longer you can leave the cover in place the better. This treatment of the soil should allow you to plant your tomatoes next year. Using some chemical fungicides may help but will only kill those spores that are on or near the soil's surface.

Hopefully this has helped you. Please ask if you have any other questions.


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