The late blight pathogen is giving tomato growers quite a headache again as the disease hit tomato patches in the Northeast of the country. In a stretch ranging from Connecticut to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, late blight is in danger of repeating its 2009 spread where it wiped out potato and tomato crops in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. So far, the disease has hit mostly commercial fields. Still, home gardeners and greenhouse operators should keep an eye out for this infestation.
Thankfully, the recent warm weather in the Northeast has done a great deal to help slow down the blight's spread. The plant disease thrives in wet cool conditions at around the high 60s. While warm weather will slow down the disease's spread, it does not kill it.
How do you spot the disease? Keep an eye out for the appearance of brown spots on your tomato fruits. Also, check for fuzzy growth appearing on your plants' leaves' underside. Other symptoms include stems with long brown lesions and leaves turning pale. To combat this disease, use fungicides for protection or, if you are growing organically, use copper supplements.
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