Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Warning: Outbreak Late Blight

There is an emerging outbreak of late blight affecting tomatoes, potatoes and possibly eggplants that has started in the Northeast, no doubt related to all the cool, wet weather we have been having. This form of blight will kill your plants within about two weeks and cannot be cured. It is highly contagious and unfortunately, has already been found in plants in multiple box stores from Ohio to Maine. This means there is a clear opportunity for this to rapidly spread further.

To help keep your plants safe:
  1. Avoid further purchases of these plants from box stores etc for the rest of this season.
  2. Avoid watering in the evening or at night.
  3. Avoid watering with a method that gets plant leaves wet.
  4. Watch closely for the first sign of late blight and if detected remove the plant to prevent it from infecting other plants. The spores that cause this illness are very easily spread to other plants.
  5. If you remove a suspect blight plant, do not compost it or put it in an area where it might infect other plants. Bag it in plastic and dispose of it.

Here's more information and the opportunity to hear more in a webinar. http://www.njfarmfresh.rutgers.edu/documents/Lateblightalertforgardeners_001.pdf

3 comments:

Helen said...

Yow! Thanks for the heads-up.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Jeez...scary stuff! With all the rain we've been having -YIKES! -Jackie

Beegirl said...

Thanks for posting this. Going to check it out. I am afraid we may be having an issue here...