Health

Keeping a check on fungus and disease in the garden – The Denver Post

Keeping a check on fungus and disease in the garden – The Denver Post

A gardener in Walla Walla, Wash., holds the Guinness American record for the largest homegrown tomato, weighing in at 8.61 pounds. Your tomatoes may not be close to that weight; you’re probably just hoping to harvest enough tomatoes for fresh eating, and sharing with family, friends and your postal carrier.

If you’re having a good tomato season, then pat yourself on the back because many gardeners are having tomato troubles this season. Some have no plants left. Disease, drought, heat and hail storms are mostly to blame — welcome to summer in Colorado.

Fungus and Virus Diseases

The biggie almost every summer is early blight, which is caused by the fungus Alternaria solani, which can also affect potatoes, peppers and eggplant. The spores overwinter on host weeds and plant debris and then are blown or splashed onto the lower leaves. The fungus spores easily spread to adjacent leaves and other plants during warm, wet weather like we’ve had recently.