Tomato Early Blight Treatments and Fungicides

early tomato blight

Early blight is the most common leaf-spot disease affecting tomato plants in the Northeast. The fungi works by forming small fruiting colonies on the leaves, from which spores emerge to infect more leaf area, eventually causing the entire leaf to turn dead brown. Although this sounds dreadful, there are treatments for this disease.

Causes and Symptoms

Early Blight is a fungal infection that can occur for many different reasons. Nutrient-deficient soil, including a lack of lime can create a breeding ground for this disease. The fungus can also be bred by heavy rain fall, mixed with humidity and certain soil conditions. No matter what the cause, blight can be detrimental to your crop.

Symptoms include small, yellow-rimmed dry patches on the plant’s leaves. As the disease progresses, more and more spots will appear on the leaves, and as the leaves are slowly overtaken by these spots, the most heavily affected will turn brown and wilt.

Treatments and Control

Fungicides are the most common solution used to effectively treat and control early blight, and must be re-applied every 7-10 days to account for weathering and to protect new plant growth. While such frequent re-applications are a downside to fungicides, the result is often worth the effort.

While re-application of the fungicide every 7-10 days will cost more in terms of labor, these fungicides are relatively inexpensive, making them a viable option for the treatment and control. Fungicides have proven to be effective, and employ multi-site modes of action, which translates into a lower likelihood of the disease becoming immune to the treatment.

The best way to ensure that your tomato crops are protected against early blight, and other fungi, is to use multiple fungicides on a scheduled spray schedule. Make absolutely certain to heed the usage recommendations on the label of all products that you use.

A simple internet search can even yield pre-made multi-fungicide spray plans for use on tomato plants. Most pre-made plans have not only taken into account the potential fungicide interactions, but are also optimized to give you the most protection during each stage of your crop’s development.

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