Asked February 15, 2020, 8:03 PM EST

I have been gardening for approx. 30 years. I live in the country in Dahlgren township. I am about to give up gardening because for the last 5 years the fun has been taken out of it! My garden is approx. 30 feet by 125 feet. The entire garden has blight. I know I am suppose to rotate but everything in my garden I believe has some sort of blight. I plant potatoes, egg plants, tomatoes, peppers and a few other things. So I don't see how I can rotate as they all have blight. I feel I have done extensive reading and still don't have any concrete answers? I feel I know about all the prevention things to do but is there anything I can treat the soil with before planting that would help? There are tons of articles out there to help reduce the problem after the garden is planted but can anything be done before the garden is planted? I know all about cleaning up last years plant remnants and making sure all contaminated remains are disposed of properly. Sorry it got so long! Any reply would be appreciated. Maybe I just have to use preventive measures after the plants have already become infected? Thanks, Steve

Carver County Minnesota

1 Response

"Blight" is a generic term for many diseases that affect plants. However specific disease ID is often needed to determine what measures are needed to control them.

Many (most?) gardeners lack plant disease ID skills but when disease damage is serious enough to cause frequent crop failure and take the fun out of gardening, it's time to get expert help. Because laboratory analysis is sometimes needed to identify diseases, sending samples of affected plants to the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic is a good way to do that. The clinic's reports usually include specific steps that can be taken to reduce or control the diseases. Go here to learn how to take plant samples and where to send them:

Carver County Master Gardeners may also be able to help identify plant diseases. Go here to find our when and where they provide local plant disease diagnostic services:

Kristine Mock
Scott/Carver County Master Gardener Program Coordinator
(952) 466-5300

We understand that you have read a lot of online information about garden plant diseases and have considered or applied the cultural practices that help minimize their effects. However, because the garden plants you mentioned are in the same family (solanacea) they are subject to many of the same diseases. This makes control difficult, especially when crop rotation is impractical as it often is in small gardens. For that reason, if you haven't already read it, information in the following bulletin may be useful:

In lieu of rotation, try growing some of your tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in containers. If possible place the containers in full sun under the eaves of a south facing wall. Also, garden plants grown in hoops are often less susceptible to insects and disease than those grown in the open.