Blight is the term used to describe various fungal conditions that show up in soggy, poorly draining soil.
Though it’s common for many gardeners to complain of blight regarding tomato plants, they can affect all gardens of any size.
Many gardens that suffer from blight will have lackluster growing seasons. Therefore, how to get rid of blight in the soil is a common search term among farmers and garden enthusiasts.
From chemicals to more natural approaches, the industry is ever-evolving when it comes to destroying blight.
How to Get Rid of Blight in Soil?
Gardeners can get rid of the blight in their soil through over-the-counter chemicals, rotating plants, purchasing blight-resistant plants, and through environmentally-friendly solarization. Each method is effective, though chemical use should be a last resort.
Ridding Your Garden Soil of Blight with Solarization
I have had a few rainy seasons where blight was a severe problem for me, particularly within my vegetable garden.
The following year, I chose to implement the process of solarization, which basically means using the heat from the sun to kill the microorganisms that cause blight.
It worked well for me, and I liked that I wasn’t showering my veggies in chemicals.
The following steps are how I “solarized” my garden to protect it from blight:
- Purchase a plastic rollout sheet from any local hardware store. They will likely be in the painting section, as these sheets are often used to protect floors and furniture during painting projects.
- Measure your garden, and cut the plastic to cover it, leaving about twelve-inch margins on each side.
- Choose a heat-tolerant glue, and roll your plastic piece up (kind of like a carpet) along the broadest edge of your garden.
- Clean your garden of all debris, ranging from fallen leaves to dead flowers. Rake your garden until it’s smooth.
- Water your garden soil until it’s soaked. Ensure your watering process does not create any holes or depressions in the ground you’ve just leveled.
- You can now unroll your rolled plastic to cover your garden, tacking down the edges with heavy objects such as bricks or rocks.
- Try not to leave any air pockets, and as challenging as it might be, step on the grounds of your garden as little as possible, as this will compress your soil.
- Secure all sides of your plastic, ensuring that there isn’t any room for air to creep in. Leave it this way for one to six weeks, depending on the heat of the season. I left my solarization plastic in my garden for three weeks, as we had a hot spring, and it didn’t take long for the unwanted blight microbes to die.
- Remove the plastic, and when your soil cools down accordingly, you can add your plants back to the previously blighted ground.
Additional Methods of Blight Removal
If solarization is a bit too involved for you, or you feel your garden is much too large to pull it off successfully, you can use chemicals or simply remove and pot your plants.
Many gardening stores sell OTC methods for eliminating blight, and they will instruct you on how to apply the chemicals safely and securely.
If chemicals aren’t your thing, and you feel that solarization won’t work for you, you can regularly rotate your plants within your garden to prevent the spores of blight from setting in.
This rotational process is a lot of work, but it does assist in getting rid of blight.
Another way to stop blight and damage your plants is to remove your plants from the blighted soil altogether and plant them in pots.
This complete removal will give the ground time to dry out and essentially heal from blight. Also, the microorganisms that cause blight won’t have much to feed on with your plants removed.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Get Rid of Blight in Soil
How can I get rid of blight in the soil?
To effectively rid your garden soil of blight, you’ll want to apply store-bought chemicals, rotate your plants, repot your plants, or try the solarization method. Before proceeding, make sure that your choice is safe for your family and as environmentally friendly as possible.
Will blight kill my plants?
Eventually, yes, blight in the soil will kill the plants you’ve worked so hard to keep alive. If your soil is blighted, fungal, and moldy, it’s time to attack the problem head-on using the methods we’ve mentioned here.
What does blight look like?
Those that are new to gardening might not be certain as to how blight presents itself. Early blight will appear on the base of your plants in the form of round, brown, soggy circles. Some blight spots will appear like a target and have a yellow-tinged halo.
Solving the Problem of Blight
Most gardeners want to put an end to blight the moment it shows up in their plants and soil.
The main problem is that it’s hard to tell the exact moment that blight begins to take over at the root level because it takes a while for the base of your plants to start to show signs of serious illness.
Know the region you live in and the weather that comes with it very well. Take the time to understand if blight is a possible problem for your garden, and then establish the correct precautions against it.
If blight does show up, don’t panic, it can be fixed with a bit of time, a few tools, and a lot of dedication.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.