Garden Solutions Center Ask the Expert

Got a question? Ask and find your answer right here.


Is there anyway to get ahead of Blight in the garden?

Our area is prone to blight and I was able to treat it last year but vegtable yeild was poor.


1 answer

  1. Blight is a fungal disease and is heightened during wet weather. As I'm sure you're aware, if left unchecked the disease will spread to other plants, leaving many dead in its wake. But there are ways to reduce a plant's susceptibility. For starters, be sure to rotate "like" crops on a three year rotation so that the same family doesn't grow in the same bed/soil for two years. One example of a "like" family is the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Be sure to prune and dispose of (in a garbage bag--not the compost) any blackened, brown or mushy leaves and fruit.

    Overhead watering is a no-no as it can spread fungal spores from plant to plant; watering at the base of your plants in the morning or using a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses is best. Encourage a healthy soil by working in organic matter and mulching with compost. This will explode the population of beneficial soil organisms that can help keep the disease in check by increasing a plant's resistance to blight.

    Some gardeners have had success by sprinkling powdered milk on and around the plant. Studies show that milk works on powdery mildew, so what not give it a try. I've had success by brewing my own horsetail tea and then spraying it on plants. (Horsetail is a natural fungicide.) But then, horsetail does grow wild in our area. Garden fungicides that include copper or sulfur or generally safe and many brands are organic. One such brand is Safer Brand Garden Fungicide, which can kill existing Botrytis Blight on contact and control future outbreaks. Good luck!

Ask the Expert

Recent Activities