The July 24, 2009 Hartford Courant report confirms late blight in 6 of 8 counties in Connecticut – New London and Middlesex have, so far, been spared. According to Joan Allen, pathologist at the University of Connecticut Plant Diagnostic Lab, here are the key points for home gardeners to remember:
- Check plants daily.
- Look for wet or greasy looking spots or stains on leaves – the spot may have a yellow edge - and areas of white, fluffy mold on the undersides of these spots.
- Immediately remove any plant you suspect has late blight and seal it in a plastic bag as trash.
As noted in my July 20 Late Blight Update and July 6 Late Blight posts , CT gardeners who suspect late blight, should contact UConn’s Home and Garden Center. Follow this link, Late blight on tomato, to view clear, accurate photos of late blight on tomatoes, courtesy of Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Late blight can remain in the soil for an extended period – up to 8 years – and can impact future plantings of tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers. You do not want to give late blight the chance to become established in your home garden.