How to treat anthracnose on tomatoes and other vegetables?

picture of anthracnose fungus disease on a tomato

Tips for treating anthracnose on vegetables

How can you handle an anthracnose infection in your garden? Try the most efficient way of healing any fungal diseases: apply a fungicide. Before you cringe in horror at the notion, realize that an efficient fungicide can be quite safe for humans, as well as for garden bugs. Usually you will have to spray the plants a few times to get rid of an infection, though.

It takes longer, when the weather is humid and warm, because these conditions promote spreading of the fungi. That's why using sprinklers to water any plants infected with fungus is a bad idea.

Collect any mature fruits as soon, as possible. The longer they remain on the plant stems, the greater is a risk of a re-infection. It's safe to eat already infected tomatoes, as long as you cut out the bad parts. Remember to throw this nasty stuff away, so that you avoid spreading the spores.

After the harvest remove the plants, which were infected with fungus. Refrain from composting any compromised flora. Dry and burn such a plant matter instead.

Tips for controlling anthracnose in vegetable garden

Is it possible to prevent an outbreak of the disease in your garden? If you follow a few simple tips, you will decrease a risk of an infection on the plants.

  • Choose to grow plant varieties resistant to an anthracnose, as well as to the other infections, which are frequent in your region.
  • Try to purchase seeds certified as disease free, when growing veggies from seeds yourself.
  • Soak vegetable seeds in a warm water (122F/50C) for 25 minutes before planting, to destroy the fungus spores. Remember about this treatment especially, when using the seeds collected from last year's crops in your veggie patch.
  • Stake tall plants, such as tomatoes, to improve an air circulation around the leaves and stems.
  • Remove weeds frequently, because many pests and diseases like to lurk and multiply on them.
  • Avoid using overhead irrigation, because wet plants catch fungal infections easily. If you prefer to use an automatic watering system in your vegetable garden, choose a drip kit instead of sprinklers.
  • Care for your crops well, because an incorrect watering and a bad fertilization weaken plants, and make them less resistant to any diseases.

While it's possible to treat anthracnose on infected plants with an effective fungicide, try to control this fungal plant disease with the tips above. What can you do today to prevent anthracnose in your tomato garden?

Image credit: By Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.