Notes from the field: Blight cleanup

We would like to take a moment to thank everyone for their loyalty, support, and encouragement during this difficult time. We would also like to thank all the CSA members, family, and friends, who came out to the farm to help pull plants and destroy the blight. The Brown County Extension office has estimated that the blight clean up would take our farm 100 man hours, so we greatly appreciate everyone’s help in this regard.

The tomatoes left in the field after cleanup.

The tomatoes left in the field after cleanup.

We have eliminated the plants from the fields, but we still have  tomatoes that have been impacted by the blight in the field. The plants are drying out safely under plastic in our old cow pasture. We will burn this pile of plants as soon as it is dry enough to burn.

We would like to take encourage all of our home gardeners to also do a blight clean up. The spores of the blight can live in the soil up to five years. The blight can also travel hundreds of miles when the weather is in perfect condition for it. If everyone who is experiencing the blight in their garden eliminate their blight, we are hopeful next year’s crop will be at less risk.

The signs of the blight include black/brown spots on the plants and the produce. The plants will also be dying or possible rotting in the garden.

We recommend that if you have signs of the blight on your tomato or potato plants to burn the area that these plants are growing in your garden. Do not till them into the ground or add them to your compost pile, as the blight will live over the winter and could impact your plants (and your neighbors’ plants) again next year.

We also recommend that you do not plant your tomato and potato plants in the same soil next year. Rather, consider planting them on the opposite side of your garden the following season.

If anyone has any questions about the blight or how to clean-up the blight we encourage you to visit the Brown County Extension office or to talk to Nancy to learn more.

 

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