Tomato late blight is a disease caused by a fungus called Phytophthora infestans. This disease mainly affects tomato crops, but can also affect other vegetable plants. It manifests itself by brown or black spots on leaves and fruits and can cause total crop loss if not treated in time. Fortunately, there are several natural treatments for fight against tomato late blight and protect your plants.
Prevention to avoid mildew
The best way to combat tomato late blight is to take certain precautions to prevent the fungus from growing on your plants:
- Crop rotation: Do not plant tomatoes in the same place every year, this will reduce the presence of the fungus in the soil and prevent its spread.
- Space your plants sufficiently: Leave enough space between each tomato plant to allow good air circulation and thus prevent the proliferation of the fungus.
- Properly stake your plants: By keeping the stems and leaves of your plants out of the ground, you will limit contact with the fungus present in the soil.
- Pick up dead leaves: Regularly remove dead leaves and damaged fruit to prevent the fungus from developing on these plant debris.
The different natural treatments against late blight in tomatoes
If despite these precautions, your tomato plants are affected by mildew, there are several natural treatments that you can use to fight against this disease:
- Nettle manure: Sprinkle your tomato plants with 10% diluted nettle manure, making sure to thoroughly wet the leaves. Repeat the operation every week until the symptoms disappear.
- Baking soda : Mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a liter of water and spray this mixture on your tomato plants. You can also add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of liquid black soap to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Fermented milk : Dilute fermented milk (yogurt or kefir) with water in a 1:5 ratio (one part milk to five parts water) and spray this solution on your infected plants. Fermented milk contains bacteria that help fight the fungus.
- Garlic decoction: Boil about ten cloves of garlic in a liter of water for 10 minutes, strain the decoction and spray it on the affected plants. Garlic has natural antifungal properties that fight mildew.
It is important to regularly treat your tomato plants with these natural treatments to prevent or eliminate late blight. Do not hesitate to alternate between the different treatments for maximum effectiveness and to prevent the fungus from developing resistance to a specific treatment.
Tomato late blight is a common problem in vegetable gardens, but it is possible to control this disease by adopting good cultural practices and using natural treatments. Prevention remains the best method to protect your tomato plants from mildew, but in the event of an infection, do not hesitate to try the various natural solutions offered to eradicate the fungus and save your harvest.