Tomatoes in my area would have long sense succumbed to some sort of fungal disease. This system is working very well for me:


The Tomato Fungal Fighter's Defense Plan!

  • Use drip irrigation
  • Use mulch
  • Use a copper-based or microbial-based fungicide
  • Grow fast-maturing, disease-resistant tomato varieties

7 Responses to “The Tomato Fungal Fighter’s Defense Plan!”

  1. Damon Says:

    What have you used to deal with fungal attacks in your garden?

  2. Luke Townsley Says:

    Perhaps the best way to prevent a fungal infection is to have a thriving microcosm of microbial and other soil life. When there is already a balanced, thriving system, it is hard for the bad guys to take over.
    Treating an infection in an existing crop is usually another matter though. I don't have much experience dealing with fungal tomato problems, but I like your strategy.
    What do you mean by "microbial-based fungicide?" Are you talking about compost tea or worm tea?
    BTW, I heard about you on Dan Miller's site and I love what you are doing here and have been listening to the podcast for a few weeks.
    Luke Townsley

  3. Damon Says:

    Well, that's part of what mulch does. I use crushed leaves/leaf mold. Combine that with earthworms, annual plantings of  cover crops and green manures insures the correct balance between "healthy" bacteria and fungus.


    But that just hasn't been enough. No matter what I do my gardened always seemed to get sick until the TFFD listed above. A former county extension agent told me to get a drip irrigation system and use a copper fungicide. The rest is from my experience.


    By microbial-based fungicide, I meant products like Serenade MAX. In principle it works exactly the same way copper fungicide works, i.e., they coat the surface of the plants and prevent fungus from spreading. Cooper fungicide does it chemically. Serenade does it my coating the surface of the plant with bacteria designed to over crowd the bad guys.

  4. Damon Says:

    Just curious: How did you hear about on Dan's site? Can your rabbit tractor be used as a chicken tractor? I'm thinking of raising some chicken for eggs mostly.
    Thanks for listening!
    If you're gonna grow'em, grow'em big!

  5. Luke Townsley Says:

    I think it was a few weeks or so ago I saw one of your posts on one of the groups or forums at
    As for the fungus, if you envision having trouble next year, you might try raising or lowering the ph a bit at the end of this season to try to change the microbial balance. I hope you keep us informed from time to time so we can see how it progresses. I would think the leaf mold would eventually take care of it. You might try aerating it before application to encourage aerobic activity. Aged sawdust, shavings or rotted wood might also help.
    As for the rabbit tractor, I suppose a chicken or two could live in it, but it isn't optimized for chickens. I have about 150 eight week old chickens I am keeping in a mobile coop/electric poultry netting situation. About half of them will be butchered in a month or two and the rest we will keep or sell for layers.
    One of my next projects is to make some tractor coops for about 5-10 chickens. I think it is a great way to raise chickens at home and want to publish plans and possibly sell kits to help people get going successfully with chickens. I plan to have a prototype done in about a month with a final version and plans to follow soon after if I am happy with it.
    Luke Townsley

  6. Damon Says:

    By the way, if you’re looking for a good book on producing lots of content for business, check out “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business.” This book has really helped me organize and streamline my content production in a media, i.e., written, audio and video.”

  7. Damon Says:

    Yeah, man, keep me informed of the chicken tractor plans. Five to 10 birds is perfect for I'd like to do.


    The leaf mold is really my main source of organic matter. The traditional compost pile I have is very small, just enough to process kitchen waste and the like. In fact when I build new raised beds, my soil mix is top soil and leaf mold. That is doing much better this year than any previous mix I've used. I may need to add that in the formula.


    Thanks, man!

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