Late blight has been found on both tomatoes and potatoes in Portage County. Home gardeners will want to be alert to symptoms to this serious, fast-spreading disease.
Portage County Agriculture Agent Ken Schroeder confirmed one report of tomatoes being infected through Aug. 26. Since June 28, late blight has been found in nine Wisconsin counties, including Waushara and Adams.
Late blight is a serious fungal-like disease that infects potatoes, tomatoes and occasionally eggplant and weeds hairy and black nightshade, Schroeder said. It caused the Irish potato famine of the 1850s.
Farmers and gardeners who grow potatoes and tomatoes should check plants regularly for late blight. Many farmers are used to scouting regularly for pests and diseases, and know to quickly respond. Home gardeners are less familiar with the problem and how to treat it.
Watch for these symptoms on potatoes and tomatoes, outlined by Amanda J. Gevens, University of Wisconsin (UW) Extension plant pathologist: