Ask a Question forum: How to deal with early blight

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Millstone, West Virginia
stinn
Apr 1, 2018 4:58 PM CST
For 3 yrs. early blight has done in our tomatoes in raised beds (ridge top WV garden) and last year our peppers too.
The chemical sprays recommended by the garden centers haven't worked and I hate to use them. Is there a way to get rid of the problem before the plants are in the ground?
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Only dead fish go with the flow!
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Xeramtheum
Apr 2, 2018 8:49 AM CST
Hi and welcome to NGA!

The way to fix it is to replace all your soil. Remove it from the raised bed then spray the borders and the bed with a 25% bleach solution if the bed is surrounded by wood or any other structure. Let it all dry out and put in new soil.
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. "

Abraham Lincoln
Millstone, West Virginia
stinn
Apr 4, 2018 4:55 PM CST
I guess I'm not surprised, but . . .Ouch! It has taken me 20 years to create the soil in those beds: LOTS of compost combined with our heavy clay to make a loose, nutrient rich soil that drains well. Can the contaminated soil be used for anythings else? Lawn? Flowers? Any vegetables? And how far from the raised beds should it be removed? Thanks for the help.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 4, 2018 4:57 PM CST
I would plant anything I wanted in that garden... except tomatoes or peppers.

Some people grow their maters in pots, other people search for resistant varieties.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Only dead fish go with the flow!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Cat Lover Greenhouse Tropicals Bulbs
Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus Hybridizer Garden Sages Butterflies
Image
Xeramtheum
Apr 4, 2018 6:53 PM CST
If you can't plant something else in the bed, another thing you might try is solarization of the soil - but it's usually a last ditch effort. You'll need to get something like visqueen plastic that is large enough to cover the bed entirely.

First remove every bit of leafy detritus you can from the bed then water it down really well and put the plastic on top of it pulling it tight and smooth. Make sure there are no gaps between the soil and the plastic and anchor the plastic so it won't move. Your weather and how much sun the bed gets determines how long to leave the plastic on. The idea is to heat it up enough to kill all the micro organisms a few inches down. I'd give it 6 weeks at least.
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. "

Abraham Lincoln
[Last edited by Xeramtheum - Apr 4, 2018 6:54 PM (+)]
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