End of Summer Disease Control

The transition from summer to fall is a great time for disease control. If you noticed any plants that had disease over the summer, clean up helps plants have a better chance of overcoming the disease and preventing issues next year.

Think back to your observations from the summer growing season and identify any plants that were diseased. Clean up the surrounding area of these plants by getting rid of any leaf-litter, dead plant material, and weeds, which can all potentially harbor disease. This also goes for mulch in the affected area, which should be replaced with fresh mulch. Dispose of the infected material by placing on the curb for collection or bringing to a municipal yard waste drop-off site. Refrain from putting it on your compost pile to avoid risking contamination, since most home compost piles don’t reach a temperature high enough to kill pathogens.

If caught early, many diseases can be treated with a spray fungicide to prevent it from spreading. We recommend Bonide Fung-onil or Bonide Copper Fungicide, which are both effective preventative sprays for a wide range of plant diseases including mildew, black spot, rust, and early blight. This time of year, Bonide Fung-onil is best since, unlike the copper fungicide, it doesn’t require that treatment starts two weeks prior to disease onset. However, Bonide Copper fungicide is the better choice for organic gardening.