Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I Have A Cunning Plan..

I'm fed up with tomato blight, It's been a real problem in the last few years and I've formulated a cunning plan to try to keep it at bay this year. It's a miserable disease, once you have it, it's almost impossible to do anything but pull the plants up and take what crop there is. If  you leave it, it will all rot.

Since I know the spores of blight are in the ground, and are splashed up on to the leaves by watering, or by rain, I decided that I would make a raised bed for my outdoor tomatoes this year. I have a long high stone wall at the back of the veg plot, and it always irks me that I can't grow anything against this, the warmest most sheltered spot, because some bright spark, years before we came here, thought it was a good place to put a concrete path. So I have cut up a few old pallets, and used them to make a raised bed, filled with my Warrior Compost, which should be clean to start with.

I'll be running a leaky hose along the top, and covering that with a sheet of black weed suppressing fabric, which I'll make slits in to plant through, so there'll be no soil splashing up on to the plants, and the watering should be even and regular.  I suppose it's the same sort of principle as a grow bag, but on a much bigger scale.  I'll let you know how I get on.

11 comments:

  1. One would think that should do the trick! Happy planting!

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  2. GSS - You would think so wouldn't you, but I'm not holding my breath, blight's been so bad here recently, just hoping for the best.

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  3. We've had blight in many areas but not on our little farm. We have potatoes in raised bed-bags this year and our tomatoes have been in raised beds. It's still a gamble, isn't it? Best of luck with your planting this year!

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  4. All my vegetables are in raised beds and boxes because my kitchen garden is near a walnut tree (that poisons the earth with juglone). Unfortunately, the tomatoes got blight last year... the spores carry on the wind. Maybe the wall will add some protection to yours. I hope so. Good luck.

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  5. I like your wall, I hope you have good luck this year. I have switched to a stock tank this year ( my post "No Room in the Bed") and am hoping for good results.

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  6. Pam, this is interesting - there's a huge walnut tree at the end of my garden, but I found after looking it up that it's an English walnut,and not the Black Walnut which is the poisonous one,thank goodness. Phew!

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  7. Thanks Doc, I hope so. I will be following your progress too.

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  8. That sounds like a good plan to me -- new soil and the sunniest spot. We got the blight in a big way last year here in the northeast of the US, and my only plan was to plant the tomato plants in a different spot and be vigilant for those dreaded gray spots on the lower leaves. Your plan sounds better!

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  9. Vigilance will certainly be needed as well Tamar, thanks.

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  10. I really like your raised beds or troughs as we used to call them before we grew in peat bags comercially in Guernsey years ago. They give a greater reserve for moisture and as long as the compost is changed every few years or so, you will not get root diseases.
    I will be putting some in my polytunnel next year. It will be good to see what sort of crop you get.
    As for blight, well I have not grown potates this year, which is where it spread from last year and I do use Bordeaux mix as soon as I see any sign of it. Not everyones choice, but it works and a few sprays tends to halt the spread.

    Nice blog.

    Mr TK

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