Tomato blight may be considered a gardener’s nightmare because it does not only infect tomatoes but also eggplants and potatoes as Disease Control well as other crops. This disease not only damages infected crops but also kills them so the poor gardener is left with no harvest even after weeks of toiling and hard work!
Symptoms Of Blight
Before your crop is ruined, you need to know how to recognize the symptoms of tomato blight. There are two kinds of blight: early blight and late blight. Both kinds are dangerous to crops and these are the symptoms for each:
- Leaf – 1 or 2 spots each leaf up to ½ inch in diameter; spots have tan centers with concentric rings in them; spots have yellow halos around the edges
- Fruit – dark, sunken spots appear on the stem end of fruits
- Stem – dark, sunken cankers at or above the soil line.
- Leaf – pale green spots usually near the edges of tips of foliage that turn brown to purplish-black; fuzzy mold on the undersides of leaves during humid weather
- Fruit – brown, leathery spots appear on green fruit; spots are usually on the top and sides of the fruit; , white mold forms in humid weather
- Stem – black and brown spots appear and spread; during humid conditions, entire vines can be killed very quickly
The earlier you recognize tomato blight, the easier it is to get rid of it. So always inspect your crops and be on the lookout for the symptoms of early or late blight. The moment you notice the tell-tale signs, start treating the plant right away.
Organic Treatment of Tomato Blight
This disease is caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans and to kill it, you need a strong, effective fungicide.
Your local gardening store might carry an organic fungicide or blight spray. You can also make your own spray at home using simple ingredients that you can find at home.
You can make a good, organic fungicide using the following ingredients:
- 2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2-3 tbsp. baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoon of organic soap (make sure it contains no ammonia, phosphate or chlorine)
- 1 gallon of water
When spraying fungicide, spray on both sides of the leaves. You should also re-apply the fungicide every 5-7 days until all symptoms of tomato blight disappear. Remove any affected leaves and don’t eat affected fruits. Don’t save the seeds of affected fruits.
How To Prevent tomato Blight
The famous adage says “prevention is better than cure.” When it comes to plant diseases, this is also true. It’s best to prevent tomato blight from ever occurring than to have to deal with it.
In order to prevent blight, here’s what you have to do…
- When planting, leave adequate space between plants. Blight spreads by wind and water so the farther apart your crops, the lesser the chances of infections spreading. Plus, the space can allow your crops to grow better.
- Mulch around the stems to keep blight spores from splashing onto the plants when you water them.
- Use support to keep the leaves and branches from touching the soil. Blight spores may be lurking on the soil and if the plant’s tips are so close to the ground, this might be a good opportunity for blight to latch on and infect your crops. Also cut the lower leaves and branches.
- Water your tomato plants only when the sun is down and to prevent blight, water near the stem. Avoid wetting the branches and leaves because the fungus that causes blight thrives in damp and moist places.
- Always clean your garden of plant debris
- Plant your crop in a different section of your garden next year.
Get Rid Of Infected Plants
In the war against tomato blight, there will always be collateral damage.
If a plant is infested beyond saving, you should uproot it and burn it. DO NOT add it to your compost.