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Talkback: Tomato blight

I have grown Tomatoes for many years but it is only the last three years i have had a problem with blight. In the past i chose to grow what you may call normal size tomatoes ie shirley Gardeners delight, this year i decided to grow all small varieties ie Sungold tom thumb in all 6 diferent varieties about 77 plants in all, the blight still affected them but at a later stage in their maturaty therefore giving me a much better crop to harvest before it struck i had about 250-300lB before i lost the plants.


  • This year was fantastic for tomatoes indoors and out, I have never had such a heavy crop. I purchased the plants hundred and thousands and grew them in hanging baskets, from 10 plants I had over 12 kilos of bite size very sweet juicy tomatoes, will definitely be growing them again next year.
  • I was affected by blight which I think came from the potato crop. That crop was quickly destroyed and the tomato crop sprayed with Dithane which saved it very well with hardly any loss at all.
  • I grew lots of tomatoes (31 plants!) as a bit of an experiment. The best were the free Gardener's World ones! However, all my plants succumbed to blight. Normally, I's use the contents of the grow bags on my raised beds.

    Is it safe to use the compost from the growbags of blighted tomatoes if I am not planning to grow tomatoes or potatoes in my beds?

  • Will the blight harm next year's toms?
  • I grew a variety of toms this year too. They where 'Golden Sunrise', 'F1 Shirley', 'Gardeners Delight' a Cherry Tom 'Cerise' and a Beef Tom, all from seed and then planted outside. I found this year 'Golden Sunrise' faired the best, a delicious fruit and kept producing fruits into Sept. They also made a loverly chutney, especially the unripened green ones!

    Unfortunately, most of my plants contacted blight in the last few weeks of August (rubbish weather). I'm not sure if the beef toms got blight first, then spread to the Golden Sunrise as the later were much better at fending off the fungal spores.

    I too wish to recycle the growbags/compost left over in my planters. I would like to know the answer to Chris W's question above.

    Next year I'll try some inside & some outside and stagger the propagation to hopefully extend the number of fresh younger plants.

  • I've had two bad years of tomato blight, with very few edible tomatoes. Two years means that two of my 10 raised beds are presumably infected with the blight spores - when can I try tomatoes in them again, and is there any treatment which will help?
  • It's not considered to be good practice to grow solanaceous plants (tomatoes, potatoes, egg-plants, capsicums etc.) in the same soil two years running, hence the popularity of grow-bags. The compost in grow-bags should be dug into ground which is not going to be used for solanaceous plants for about another 4 - 5 years. This practice will help reduce the build-up of pests and infections in the soil.
  • I grew Hundreds and Thousands this year in 16" hanging baskets and they did very well. Only been affected by blight in the last 2 weeks and still producing toms. I disagree on the skins though, I think they are quite thin, but the quantity on all plants was amazing. Will definitely grow them again next year.
  • An interesting observation re blighted and helathy tomatoes on the same truss. I've had similar results this year too, but with Gardeners Delight. I'm now speculating whether my last resort spray with Bordeaux Mixture was just in the nick of time to help part of the plants to survive, or whether the Gardeners' Delight has somehow acquired some blight resistance.
  • I don't think I've ever had a year that I've not had blight on my outdoor tomatoes (or potatoes, for that matter), but I grow on an allotment, and one neglected plot will affect all.
    An old gardening friend told me that halums from potatoes and old tomato plant should not be composted- they should be burned to prevent infection spreading.
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