Gardeners asked to examine tomato plans for late blight

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CHARLOTTETOWN — The Department of Agriculture and Forestry is asking home garden growers to check their tomato plants for late blight.  

Tomato sucker

Recently purchased plants and ones grown from seeds should all be checked.

The signs of late blight are:

—   Dark, water soaked spots that form on the leaves. These spots are not contained within the veins of the leaf; and

—   Fluffy white growth on the edges of the spots may occur on the underside of the infected plant.

When you see the symptom of the disease, it’s already too late to save that plant.

It is extremely important to properly dispose of infected plants to prevent further infection to your own crop or your neighbors, says a release from the department.

The fungus causing the disease is not dangerous to humans.

To dispose of the infected plant:

—   Cut the stem of the plant at soil level;

—   Place the plant in a garbage bag and tie the top; and

—   Place the bags containing infected plants in your black bin (waste).

Late blight is a disease that can infect tomatoes and potatoes and transfers easily to neighbors’ gardens through wind and rain. The disease can easily spread to large commercial crops.

The development and spread of late blight can be extremely rapid especially when it is warm weather with a high relative humidity.

For more information, call 1-866-PEIFarm (734-3276) or PEIextension@gov.pe.ca.

 

nmacphee@journalpioneer.com

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