- Remember that fungus thrives in humid, moist, cloistered environments. Don't be shy about watering, but take the steps to make sure your tomatoes don't breed these conditions!
- Water in the morning, so that afternoon sun dries any water that splashed up.
- Stakeyour tomatoes early and don't plant them too close together! (Voice of experience speaking!)
- By the way, water regularly. Dry periods followed by wet periods followed by dry periods cause that cracking that you sometimes find in tomatoes.
- Choose healthy plants to begin with.
- A fungicide (chlorothalonil) can be purchased online or in garden stores to prevent this fungus. But I don't know how this might diminish your dreams of an organic garden!
- Mulch. This creates a barrier between your plant and the soil below that may harbor the fungus. This year Reed and I are trying a red plastic mulch layer that is supposed to increase yield by bounched far-red light back to the plant. Will let you know how that works out!
- Plant in full sun where the soil is suitably drained.
If You Have Never Had Blight...
If you find Blight on Your Plant...
- You can pull the infected leaves off the plant. This will slow the spread, but isn't a cure. Apply fungicide according to directions. If you choose to pull up an infected plant, do not put it in the compost!
The Season After the Blight...
One of the most infuriating things about Blight is that it lies dormant in your soil for 3 years or more after infection. So, if you plant your tomatoes in the same place, these healthy plants are likely to become infected too.
- Practice crop rotation and don't plant nightshades where it appeared before.
- Plant in raised beds or a clay pot if you are truly worried about it.
- Compost well!