Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Steep Price for Success

In the fall of 2009 I planted a few tomato plants that I felt would do relatively well over the winter. I kept them covered and they grew very well behind the plastic greenhouse I made. Unfortunately, the temperatures in the greenhouse during the daytime can get hot, and with all that vegetation and heat and humidity came disease.  

Tomatoes started in February and went through April

I am still dealing with the affects of the bountiful crop I had that next February and March even though the fruit is long gone. I have utilized proper crop rotation, soil inoculants, growing legumes, soil solarization and many other techniques to eradicate this blight (Septoria) from my garden. Alas disease - in one form or another - persists. Initially I felt this to be a tragedy. However, as time has passed my diseased bed is turning out to be a real asset. Having an enclosed diseased space helps me determine which of my Siletz tomato plants are disease resistant enough to start out in a greenhouse. Even though disease has persuaded me to refrain from growing the full lifecycle of any tomato plant in my greenhouse, I have not given up using my greenhouse for growing transplants.

Another crop of tomatoes from the greenhouse

Heat, cold, dense foliage and moisture all contributed to disease.


  1. Any picture of your greenhouse and compost bed? It would be nice to see and would give us ideas to new, novice gardeners.

    1. Thanks for the response, KL. The post before this had a picture of my compost bed. A picture of my temporary greenhouse area is at:

      I consider myself a novice gardener too. In my very first post I mentioned that I know very little and am always learning! Most of my research comes from my own garden.

  2. I once read an article about a gardener who kept the bottom foot or so of his tomato plants foliage free to promote air circulation. He had huge, healthy plants so it must have been helpful. I stick Tums in the planting hole of my tomatoes and it really helps. I had no calcium deficiency issues last summer for the first time. Yay!

    1. Thank you for the advice. I attempted to do this but alas the foliage became very dense. In my summer tomato patch I usually cut and/or remove any leaves that touch the ground. I have never tried putting Tums in a planting hole. It would probably be very beneficial in an area with calcium deficiency.


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