estorms wrote:My blight is early blight. Last year I sprayed thoroughly with copper sulphate at the first sign of blight. It seemed to have no effect; by the end of the week, all the tomatoes had it. I pulled them out, cleaned up thoroughly, and replanted. Same thing. Other people buying at the same nursery did not have it. I did notice some blight on the tomatoes at Walmart, but I didn't buy anything there. I am starting my own plants this year. The cantelope, watermelon, three kinds of squash, cucumbers, and ornamental gourds, all died of something fuzzy shortly after sprouting. Other things did very well.
Early blight is typicaly not as scary as the dreaded late blight. The other vegs that died of "something fuzzy" are all cucurbits and I concur with rainbowgardener's diagnosis that it was most likely powdery mildew.
If you had sprayed the tomatoes with serious fungicide, it will have killed off susceptible beneficial as well as enimical fungi, leaving only those that are resistant. Early blight on your tomatoes may have been resistant. The explosion of powdery mildew on the cucurbits is likely due to the same effect. They found a nice cleared area with no competition and no predatorial microbes and plants struggling in soil depleted of symbiotic beneficial fungi. Once you start to spray whole-sale fungicide or pesticide, you have to keep spraying to maintain the "sterile" condition -- but in nature, spores and insects blow in with the wind.
Based on what you said next:
estorms wrote:When I moved here, this area was a children's play yard with healthy grass. The former owners had several loads of topsoil trucked in. My tomatos and vineing crops had the blight, but I still got enough vegetables for my needs. Last year was very bad, the beans, peas, beets, and onions were unaffeced.
...I think I want to restate what I said first on the first page:
applestar wrote:My recommendation is to try to build a healthy, bio-diverse soil with good compost. Bio-diverse microbe rich soil will compete with disease organisms. Healthy soil >> Healthy plants are more resistant to any kind of infection.
"healthy grass" to me means lots of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides. "children's play yard" probably means compacted soil. So I still think amending with good compost is your answer. If you have access to leafpiles, you could even start one right now. It won't do much in the coldest weeks, but we seem to be getting occasional warm breaks so compost pile will slowly but surely break down. You don't need much for AACT.
As I mentioned above, milk solution and dilute AACT soil drench and foliar spray are both effective as preventive for these kinds of fungal issues when appliction is started with the onset of weather conditions that promote them, and before the problem appears. By "armoring" the foliage and creating a healthy competition among the microbes (note that microbes in the compost and compost tea will most likey already include the symbiotic organisms that are concentrated in the products mentioned above) the tomatoes and cucurbit vines will have resistance.
Your tomatoes may have been infected first by septoria type earlier fungal infection that weakened them to early blight, which many tomato varieties can outpace and outgrow -- or at least that has been my experience. And let me note that I only grow heirlooms and open pollinated varieties, not hybrids with bred in resistance. I feel people save seeds from fruits that matured in spite of such set backs in the garden, and therefore have inherited buit in resistance.
However, if you are feeling very discouraged about growing tomatoes right now, you may feel better from growing hybrid varieties which specifically boast resistance to early blight and probably powdery mildew and other fungal diseases this year.