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

Tomato islands and succession planting

Japanese black trifele tomatoI like to call step four in our campaign against the tomato blight "tomato islands."  While it's quite true that blight spores can travel up to a mile in damp weather, planting patches of tomatoes in different parts of the garden can be relatively effective in keeping the blight from spreading if the summer stays hot and dry.  So while our romas (and a few slicers) are all clumped together along the sunniest edge of the mule garden, I've got slicing tomatoes and tommy-toes in three other areas.  The ones in the far-off front garden still seem to be blight-free.

I'm also taking a page out of our neighbor's book.  Last year, while touring a friend's garden at the end of the summer, I saw that he had a healthy tomato plant  still spitting out fruits.  "How did you do that?!" I exclaimed, and he told me that he'd thrown some seeds in the ground in early June.  This year I followed suit and seeded three more tomato plants a couple of weeks after our frost-free date.  These late plants are starting to set fruits, and so far look pristine.  Perhaps they will give us a fall harvest?

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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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