tomato plant

Tomato Plant Disease that Can Stick Around for Years

Dan Fruits, Specialty Crops, This Land of Ours, Vegetables

A tomato plant disease that has the capability of sticking around for years. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

Early blight is caused by the soil-borne pathogen Alternaria solani, and this fungus can stick around for years because it overwinters in the soil, even in cold climates.

Most early blight cases won’t kill your plants, but it causes bulls-eye-shaped brown shaped spots on the lower leaves of the plant. The surrounding tissues turn yellow, and eventually, the infected leaves fall off of the plant. In most cases, the plant continues to produce fruits, even as the disease moves up the plant.

Organic fungicides that use copper or Bacillus subtilis effectively slow or stop the spread of early blight. Bicarbonate fungicides work as well. Preventative measures work well to stop this fungal disease from infecting your plants. Always mulch underneath your tomato plants to prevent soil-dwelling spores from splashing onto your plant.

Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.