The Q&A Archives: Controlling the Spread of Septoria Leaf Spot

Question: Thank you for your response concerning my problems with septoria on tomatoes at my garden plot. I have tried cleaning up the plants and removing them. I have a concern regarding the soil transmission that has bothered me -- if the soil is contaminated, is this contamination spread through the garden with tools and/or tillers? If so, how can you possibly avoid spreading it to another bed? Is there any time period that (if you waited a few years) the organism would die out and the plot would be clean? Gail Barbosa

Answer: Yes, if you till or hoe a small garden you are basically spreading the disease spores around. Rotating crops still has a benefit, but less so in a small garden. Septoria leaf spot is an endemic disease. This means it is always around, but is worse in year's with the right environmental conditions. Mulching helps slow the onset of this disease and spacing the plants further apart also helps.

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