Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blight

In my case it appears to be Early Blight as opposed to the Late Blight that is in the process of wiping out the tomato crop in the rest of the Northeast.

I've had Early Blight before, but usually it holds off until September or so. The frost usually kills them way before the blight.
We've just had so much rain. I don't know a single person who isn't affected by it. One friend has lost 70 tomato plants. I raised these from seed. They are from heirloom seed. Apparently I need to try a blight resistant hybrid next year.
It's even affecting the fruit. I don't know if you can see the brown around the stem. The tomato is rotting off the stem.
These are not ripening, they're rotting on the vine.

I've been putting off facing the inevitable. It's time to rip the entire mess out and have a good cry. There will be no fresh tomatoes from my garden this year. I'm thinking that next year I'll build a new bed with fresh soil. Hybrids will probably be on the menu for disease resistance. The spores need to work their way out of my soil. Despite careful rotation (these tomatoes are where the squash were last year), my soil is infected throughout the garden. It will take a good 3-4 years to get the spores out of the soil.

6 comments:

Michaela Dunn Leeper said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry! It really just stinks after so much hard work to see this happen, or any other crop-devastating disease or bug :(

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I'm so sorry Heather! Our organic farm has had some blight as well and I've seen only 2 tomatoes in my shares this year. I think he's been able to contain it but lost many, many plants to it.

It really is a tragedy to not have fresh tomatoes---it is one of my favorite things to have in a garden!

The Mom said...

Michaela, its killing me. I still can't bring myself to rip them out.

FOM, I don't think we'll be seeing too many tomatoes around here this year. Really sad.

kiwigomes said...

They're like family! And I feel your upset/anger/sadness at the loss. BIG hugs!

kitsapFG said...

Don't rip them out unless you really need the room for something else! If the weather warms up you may yet get some edible fruit. Not a given but what you have you got to lose?

Being in the rainy pacific northwest, blight is a very real and pervasive problem. I grow "Legend" each year - not because it is my most favorite open pollinated tomato - but it is blight resistant and is my safety net in case we get a bad go of it. I think your plan of new beds and some hybrids is an excellent one.

Big hug to you... had something quite similar happen last year (miserable wet/cool cabbage summer) and it was very discouraging.

The Mom said...

Thanks Kiwi!

Kitsap, I haven't pulled them yet. There isn't anything to put in there anyway. Hope springs eternal!