Growing fresh and organic tomatoes in the garden is a satisfying and relaxing hobby for any vegetable gardener. However, even with proper care tomato plants can be affected by diseases. Most of the diseases in tomato plants are due to severe weather conditions and are beyond the control of the gardener. Both fresh and fully-grown tomato plants get ruined due to adverse weather conditions.
Blight is the most common disease that affects tomato plants and annihilates them. It is a fungal disease with spores in the air which attack and grow when they land on the wet tomato plant. Early blight and late blight are two types of blight that affect tomato plants.
Identification and causes
Early symptoms of blight include dark spots and concentric rings on the matured leaves. The affected leaves turn yellow and die while exposing the fruits to harsh sunlight. The early blight attacks the plants in winters and spreads to the other plants due to the infected soil. Wet weather conditions and stressed plant are two main causes of early blight in tomato plants.
How to avoid Early blight?
Clearing garden debris from time to time will help spreading the disease at the same time removing affected plants can also help to spread. Spraying sulphur and copper will prevent spreading of fungus in tomato plants or using bio-fungicide available in the garden shops can also assist in cutting down the harmful effects of blight on the plants to a considerable extent.
Identification and causes
The late blight spreads very quickly in cold and wet weather conditions and affects stem, fruit, and leaves. Irregular shaped grey spots and leaves with a greasy look. Further a ring of white mould grows around the grey spots leaving the leaves dry and crisp.
How to avoid late blight?
Copper spray cures the infections while the use of serenade helps in controlling and delaying deadly symptoms. The infected debris of the tomato plants should be disposed of carefully as it can spread quickly to other plants especially potato plants.
However, it is always advisable to prevent the occurrence of blight in the tomato plants rather than fighting and controlling the blight. Here are few tips to avoid blight in tomato plants
• Keeping the leaves and plant dry is the key to prevent blight.
• A ground watering system is ideal to keep the leaves dry. But rain and wet weather conditions cannot prevent leaves and stem from getting wet, where you need to follow methods to aerate the plants to dry quickly.
• Using the transparent plastic sheet to cover the plants will protect them from rain and keep them dry.
• Maintaining at least 4ft distance between plants facilitates good air circulation and quick drying. Make sure that there are only 3-5 branches on the plant otherwise there will be insufficient air flow in the plant.
• Any blight affected parts in the tomato plant should be removed without any delays in the early stages to prevent spreading. The disease affected debris should be carefully disposed of the property.
• Purchasing blight resistant tomato plants is another way of avoiding the disease in tomato plants.
• Regular use and a spray of fungicide will help to avoid and control blight in time
Checking the plants regularly for diseases and identifying the problem, in the beginning, can help you to save the tomato and other plants that belong to the same family such as peppers, potatoes, and eggplants. The blight disease in the plants spreads quickly and affects stem, foliage, and fruit of the plant.