Thursday, May 20, 2010

Be Prepared for Late Blight & Herbicide Carryover on Manure and Compost

 Late Blight Precautions for 2010:

Late blight lesions on our tomatoes in 2009

 
A more advanced case of late blight in our heirloom tomato trials in 2009 .

Tomato growers, especially organic growers, late blight has been detected in Louisiana and Florida. It is suspected that it came in on transplants sold at some big box stores. Here's the article: http://tinyurl.com/22knnu4. This is not to alarm anyone. To the best of my knowledge we don't have it in North Carolina. Yet. But you should be prepared for it to arrive. So come up with your game plan and purchase, or at least identify and locate, whatever materials you intend to use. Also, try to buy locally produced transplants! Here is a great article from the University of Mass. Extension on late blight and what to expect this year. I strongly advise that you read it: http://www.umassvegetable.org/LateBlightAlertforTomatoandPotato.html. Meg McGrath at Cornell also wrote a very helpful article on her blog. It includes a list of tomato varieties, including heirlooms, that have exhibited some resistance: http://blogs.cornell.edu/hort/2010/04/12/avoid-the-late-blight-blues.

Use of Manure & Composted Manure in Gardens & on Farms:
A gardener gathering aged horse manure to add to his garden.

Herbicide carryover in manure and compost is still a problem. Educate yourself so you don't suffer any damage while using some of the best soil amendments around. A newly updated and expanded bulletin has been posted at: http://tinyurl.com/26c4xzu. Area extension agent, Sue Colucci, posted how to do a bioassay for herbicide carryover on her blog. She used an actual case that she worked on this spring for it: http://tinyurl.com/2cm3qt2.

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