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Thanks for your article and pics. The pics confirmed my suspicion that late blight had infected my tomato crop. My 30+ plants were devastated and we picked very few uninfected fruits. I'll be buying some heavy trash bags soon. It appears my eggplants and possibly potatoes have suffered as well. Maine had an absolutely terrible July with triple our normal rainfall. It lasted into August and on my clay based soil this disease just thrived.
In cleaning up the tomato bed, many dried tomato leaves and infected tomatoes have fallen to the ground. While trying to be as fastidious about cleanliness as possible, it is likely I will not get all the infected material picked up. Besides not planting in the same area next year is it also helpful to skip a year of growing nightshades? In doing so do the blight spores go away or do they remain in the soil until such time as I plant again?
Hello again 1973tr6. You've asked some very good questions. Unfortunately, I don't have solid answers. From what I've researched, the spores can overwinter on infected tubers and fruit only if weather conditions are ideal, which is to say mild winters. Also, if you compost any infected tuber, fruit, or plant material, it may overwinter there due to the heat generated within the compost pile.
I'll more than likely have to contact a plant pathologist in order to give you a definitive answer about letting an area go fallow.