The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Blight resistant tomato varieties

Blondkopfchen tomatoesThe agricultural extension websites are quick to tell you that no tomato variety is immune to the blight, but I've discovered that several are resistant.  In general, tommy-toes seem to fare quite well, losing the battle much later than the larger-fruited varieties.  On the other hand, the Green Zebra we were testing for the first time this year turned out to be the most blight-prone of any of our tomatoes --- we won't grow Green Zebra again.  So far, all of our other slicing tomatoes are faring pretty well.
Martino's Roma
The heart of our tomato patch is our romas, and I'm starting to get a feel for which roma varieties last longer when blight is in the air.  Large-fruited romas do the worst, and I don't think I'll even save seeds from Italian San Rodorta this year since the plants blight so quickly.  In contrast, the even more hefty-fruited Russian Roma plants are only barely blighted.  Yellow Roma and Martino's Roma are currently my roma winners --- the fruits are small, but they ripen quickly and copiously, and the plants are blight-free so far.

I suspect that if I tweaked my plantings to focus solely on the most blight-resistant varieties, the fungus might not enter our patch until weeks later.  Or not at all?

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This post is part of our Organic Tomato Blight Control lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:





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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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Have you tried Cherokee Purple tomatoes? They are the most blight-resistant I've tried. In Northern VA, where I live, all my tomatoes get infected with something that turns them green and yellow, and then brown, from the bottom up. Through better care of the soil, I've managed to bring two other varieties to harvest this year, but last year with zero effort I got three harvests out of the Cherokee Purple -- they didn't die till they got snowed on! This year they seem to be following the same pattern. They're intended to be a slicing tomato, but they make great sauce all the same.
Comment by Sheila Sat Aug 18 18:00:52 2012
Sheila --- Interesting to see a vote for Cherokee Purple as blight resistant. I'd heard great things about their flavor but nothing about disease. I'll have to give them a shot!
Comment by anna Sun Aug 19 19:17:25 2012





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