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Signs of damage
- Discoloration of the lower leaves. This means that the plant becomes weaker, leading to the collapse of the whole plant later.
- Water-soaked spots. They also appear on the lower leaves or lower stems.
- Rot. Rotting the plant's roots and fruit is another important sign of this disease.
- Developing sclerotia on the infected tissue. Sclerotia is a brownish or tan spot as small as a seed that can appear on the soil surface and the plant.
- Too many white hyphae. You can notice this if you look closely because this sign can be spotted on the lower stem and close to the root.
How to prevent
The most unpleasant part about this disease is that effective fungicides can cure southern blight in plants but are unfortunately available for commercial growers. That's why you have to focus on avoiding this disease. Grow your plants in a clean environment. Since it's a soil-borne disease, you have to be careful with soil. For instance, ensure the new plants are disease-free by quarantining them in soil beds before planting the rest. Soil solarization is also a great method; however, it's more useful in southern climates. The gist of the method is to cover the soil with a plastic tarp and leave it for a while. The heat that such conditions will create will eliminate fungi, and the soil is going to be safe enough.
It is important to detect the disease as soon as possible and remove the infected plants, to avoid further spreading of the disease, and destroy them.
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