Re: [tomato] Yellowing leaves -- does EVERYONE have early blight?

Richard Yarnell (
Wed, 26 Jul 2000 11:35:30 -0700 (PDT)

I admit that I have no appreciable number of yellowing leaves.  I had no
disease of any kind last year, and none apparent this year.  I do not use
ANY herbicides at all.  I do:

1) plant out of 1 gallon pots, plants which are up to two feet tall.  They
are planted on their sides in trenches after having been stripped of all
leaves except the growing tips and the top two sets of true leaves, into
soil amended with moderately composted rabbit manure and lime;

2) the planting bed, in which plants are on 18" centers in rows spaced 36"
apart, is covered with road fabric and the mulch of the year (usually
chipped fir or cedar).  The plants emerge from the road fabric through 4"
X's.  The Fabric extends 24" beyond the outside rows;

3) each plant is irrigated using .6gph drip emitters which are placed
under the fabric.  They are on a timer which delivers water during the
night.  I vary the schedule in accordance with the weather.

4) Since I grow mostly OP non-determinant plants, they are pruned to two
leaders and trained separately up twine supports. I remove the lowest
leaves after the plant has reached 2'.  Later in the season, if I
particularly like a variety, I will allow suckers to grow from the base.
These seem to have fresh vigor and set late fruit;

5) Before the early fall rains begin, I put a plastic cover over hoops
installed on the trellis arrangement.  This helps keep the plants
reasonably dry but does not impede winds which ventilate the foliage;

6) And finally, I save seed I like.  I ferment it for a minimum of 5 days,
rinse thoroughly, air dry it, vacuum pack it, and store it refrigerated.

I live in zone 8- about 700 feet above and 20 mi SE of  Portland, OR.
The tomato patch of about 60 plants is thriving in the same place for the
third year (the first time I've ever planted tomatoes in the same place
during successive seasons).  The plot had pasture grass cum "lawn" before
I set it up for tomatoes so I was not planting into infected soil, so far
as I know.  This year's plantation was in the green house until the end of
June owing to particularly bad weather - I couldn't work the soil until
then.  Most plants are now approaching 4' from the 3-6" ht after planting.

In the fall (last year's plants produced until late October, early
November, I will pull the plants and amend the soil with compost made here
in managed bins (150-160F temps) in which no tomato or potato plants have
been added.

 Just one guy's method.

 On Wed, 26 Jul 2000, T Wallace wrote:

> >From reading all the traffic on this listserv, it
> sounds like almost everyone over the whole nation has
> some form of early blight on their tomatoes. According
> to a recent article in the Washington Post (see below)
> it has to do with spores being kicked up from the
> ground onto the leaves of the plants. My plants now
> are just long, tall stalks with green tomatoes here
> and there and with a tuft of green leaves at the very
> top! 
> Does anyone know how to avoid this next year? I've
> tried the copper and the fungicide, and nothing seems
> to stop the progress of the disease.

Richard Yarnell, SHAMBLES WORKSHOPS | No gimmick we try, no "scientific"
Beavercreek, OR. Makers of fine     | fix we attempt, will save our planet
Wooden Canoes, The Stack(R) urban   | until we reduce the population. Let's
composter, fly tying benches        | leave our kids a decent place to live.