Composting Tomato Plants with Blight

(Question)

My tomatoes had a lot of blight this year; there were good tomatoes growing right beside diseased ones, which I discarded regularly. Can I compost the rest of the tomato plants? They look okay, no rust, etc. on the leaves.
Wanda

 

(Answer)

 

The main concern that I would have in this scenario is that spores from the previous blight (the pathogen Phytophthora infestans, a fungus like organism that thrives in wet conditions) may still be active and present in your remaining tomato plants.  Composting may thus be questionable.   As stated by the University of Minnesota, if your compost pile does not thoroughly heat up and break down plant materials then do not compost.  Discard or as Vesey’s (Canadian plant source) suggests, till plant material into the soil to keep spores below the soil surface and away from tomatoes.  Another tip is to rotate crops and apply copper fungicides to prevent further infection next season.  The following links may be of help:

http://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2017/09/late-blight-takes-out-tomatoes.html

Toronto Master Gardeners also has a helpful link http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/late-tomato-blight-2/