The Q&A Archives: Controlling Tomato Blight

Question: Every time I put my tomato plants in my raised beds they always get blight and I end up pulling them all out before even half of the fruit is harvested. How can this be avoided? Also, what are the best varieties of tomatoes for the Pacific Northwest? What is the ideal soil pH for tomatoes? Nancy Alvord Mt. Vernon, WA

Answer: The best pH for tomatoes is betwee 6.0 and 6.8. Some varieties that should grow well in the Pacific Northwest include Oregon Spring, Siletz and Santiam. You can slow the spread of blight on tomatoes by mulching the plants soon after planting to preventwater from splashing disease spores onto the lower leaves. Also, remove lower leaves as soon as you see the signs of blight and spray the plants with a copper sulfate solution to slow the spread. Once leaves are dying because of the blight, it's tough to do anything that late in the game. A good company for vegetables to grow in the Northwest is Territorial Seed Company, P.O. Box 157, Cottage Grove, OR 97424, 541-942-9547..

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