|Sonia Uyterhoeven is Gardener for Public Education.|
Last week I blogged about the causes of late blight. This week we’ll look at ways to deal with it and other fungal diseases in general.
Here at the Garden, we thought we had missed the late blight since we made it through the initial onslaught unscathed. The problem with fungal spores is that some of them love to hang around. In late August we went out into the garden on a Monday after a heavy weekend rain and found a number of plants covered with white powdery spots.
On further inspection we found signs of brown lesions on stems, and several of the leaves were starting to darken into brown spots. Since this fungal problem progresses so rapidly, we decided that we wouldn’t wait to get the problem plants tested. I spent an afternoon filling garbage bags with diseased tomato plants, carefully cutting them up piece by piece so as not to unwittingly spread spores all over the place. Even for compost aficionados, it is advised to toss diseased plants into the trash rather than risk the disease surviving the composting process and infecting new areas of the garden.
After I disposed of the wreckage, I went back into the garden and doused the remaining tomato plants with a product called Plant Health Care Biopak Plus. It is a micronutrient treatment with beneficial bacteria that supports plant vigor (it is similar to spraying the plants with compost tea to protect them). read more »