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Early Blight

Alternaria solani

Early Blight

A close up picture of Alternaria solani early blight disease on a leaf
Alternaria solani a1 (2) by Jerzy Opioła (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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Although it is called Early Blight, it can occur at any point in the year if the conditions are met. It is a fungal disease that affects many members of the potato family and can severely damage the crops. It is one of the blights that was responsible for the Irish potato famine from 1845-1849.
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Identification

Small brown spots on the older leaves with concentric rings eventually spread out over the leaf. Ultimately, leaves turn yellow and die. Later the stems and fruits will show these symptoms and cause the death of the plant.

Growth factors

Poorly nourished plants in warm and humid conditions.

Symptoms

Older leaves showing brown spots with concentric rings.
Yellowing of leaves.
Wilting and death of top growth.

Biological treatment

Application of a bio-fungicide repeated at weekly intervals as needed.

Chemical treatment

Application of a Copper fungicide (or available equivalent) to help reduce the damage of the fungus.

Prevention

Having good air circulation around plants. Good plant and tool hygiene. Clearing dead material from around plants. Good soil nutrients.

Affected plants

A close up of a white and yellow Solanum tuberosum flower

Potato

Solanum tuberosum

Some red Solanum lycopersicum tomatoes in a garden

Tomato

Solanum lycopersicum

A close up of a purple Solanum melongena flower

Eggplant

Solanum melongena

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