Food & Drinks

What Is Blight? A Quick Guide

176 years ago, Ireland was ravished by a famine of their most prized crop: potatoes. This blight struck quickly and wiped out most of their crops and led to massive starvation. 

Today, hunger is not an uncommon issue in our world. We experience a lack of available food in some of the most vulnerable places. What is blight? What causes these diseases?

Is there any way to prevent blight as we saw 176 years ago? Absolutely! Read on for your complete guide to understanding blight.

What Is Blight? 

Blight is a debilitating disease that infects plants of a variety of species. Blight impacts the stems and the overall structure of the plant. It usually attacks the leaves of the plant, impacting their ability to photosynthesize. 

Blight tends to impact an entire crop. It spreads quickly and kills the crops quickly as well. It is a devastating infection that can wipe out a farmer’s whole profit for the year. 

What Causes Blight? 

Blight is caused by a fungal infection that is spread by fungal spores. These spores spread through a variety of infected sources. These infected sources include insects carrying the disease and wind carrying the spores. 

Floods and overflowing riverbanks can also bring this spore to your garden. The best way to prevent infection is to keep your garden as clean as possible. A clean garden does not just mean a tidy garden. 

It means perhaps installing raised beds to prevent flooding. It also means laying down anti-fungal powders or sprays to deter spore development. Keeping bug infestations down is a good way of preventing spores. 

Last, try to avoid keeping decaying branches of logs in your garden. These stumps and branches can develop mushrooms and harbor a safe home for spores. 

What Does Blight Look Like?

Blight tends to look like black spots developing on the ends of the leaves of plants. It also develops on the stems of young plants and tends to make them decay. 

It causes a quick set in of decay in the plant. It turns the stems and internal structure of the plant into a soft gooey substance. It appears a little different for each plant, however. 

In potatoes, it appears as a black decay within the potato tuber. It renders them completely inedible. 

In apples, it typically looks like black spotting on the exterior of the fruit. It eventually causes the whole fruit to rot and fall from the tree. 

These are some of the common signs of blight. 

How Do You Treat Blight?

One of the best ways to treat blight is to prevent moisture buildup. You can accomplish this by adding better aeration to your soil. You can aerate your soil by adding mulch or lighter substances to the dirt. 

But, in the case of a bad set in of blight, you may need a powerful fungicide. Potent fungicides such as those sold by Marrone Bio help attack the infestation at the root. This is an important process since it boosts the plant’s immune system. 

When a plant is fighting off infection, it needs a boost. Just like humans need some vitamin C when sick, your plants sometimes need help. Treating blight is not impossible, just make sure you’re proactive!

Blight’s Impact on Your Garden

We hope this article helped answer your question “What is blight?” Maybe you were drawn here because your garden needs help ASAP. Or, maybe you want to prevent emergency treatment.

Whatever your reasons, we hope this article was helpful in meeting your needs. We strive to provide accurate answers to all of your questions. We hope you visit again soon with your burning questions. 

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