Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blight or Not Blight?

UPDATE: Other people have suggested that this is NOT blight. Phew! A little embarrassed for needing to double check, but I was nervous and the multi-colored leaves looked different than the usual all tan and wilted dead leaves.

Any additional feedback is welcome as always. I'd love to become more skilled in plant disease diagnosis! Need to take the Master Gardeners class I guess.

Anyway, here's the original post:

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At the Remington Village Green community garden yesterday, we noticed that one plot full of potatoes had some wilting leaves and brown and yellow spots.

Is it the blight?!

The owners of the plot said that they took some of the leaves in to Meyer Seed and also to their work where the potato leaves looked the same.

They were told that "the potatoes have started putting all of their energy into the tubers and less into the leaves, making the leaves less healthy (they're dying)."

What do you all think? Normal decay, or some kind of disease?




After some Google searching I found this site that outlines a very simple and straightforward list of different tomato diseases, along with some photos.



If you want to avoid disease in your own garden, a good tip is to tear off any old leaves that are touching the ground.

Gardening isn't just about watering your plants! Pruning your plants is just as important. Not only is your plant able to spend more energy on fruit and new growth, you will increase air flow to your plant and prevent the spread of soil-borne molds, viruses, and fungi.



Another tip: If you notice any little insect holes, turn over leaves and check the underside for egg sacs.



Prevention is the easiest method of dealing with garden pests and diseases.

Especially in community gardens, when infection of one plant could potentially spread to many other garden plots, it's important to take the extra time and prune your plants!

Happy gardening, and I look forward to your advice. Help me out, Maryland Cooperative Extension!

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