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Protect tomatoes against late blight.

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Author Topic: Protect tomatoes against late blight.  (Read 89 times)
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« on: July 24, 2008, 08:18:05 pm »

Late blight is a fungus that attacks in summer and can kill a tomato practically overnight. The first thing you see are black streaks and spots on the leaves and stems. The last thing you see is black mush after the plant melts into slime. The disease overwinters on old plant tissue, so in fall, remove every plant part, and send it off to clean green, where the composting process is sophisticated enough to destroy the fungus. To prevent late blight, provide good air circulation by removing all leaves from within 5 inches of the ground, prune out shoots that sprout from branch unions, and prune as necessary to maintain air space between neighboring tomatoes. The disease can't occur if the leaves stay dry. Water with soakers to avoid wetting the leaves, and if your tomatoes tend to be hit with the disease year after year, consider constructing a shelter that can be covered with clear plastic to protect the foliage from rain and dew.
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