As the Irish famine disease spreads across the Northeastern U.S., gardeners in the area should inspect their plants regularly in order to detect if the blight has hit their vegetable patch.

Here are instructions on how to prevent the fungus from killing your plants, how to check if your tomatoes or potatoes have been affected by late blight and what to do if they are:

  1. Closely examine your tomato and potato plants at least once a week. Look out for lesions (see photo) or other signs of the disease, including yellow leaves on tomatoes.
  2. Use a preventative fungicide spray to treat your plants. Use products that contain chlorothalonil. This kind of spray is not absorbed well by plants, so you’ll need to apply it thoroughly, and reapply it every five-seven days in rainy or damp weather.
  3. If your garden is infested with the fungus, be prepared to destroy your plants.
  4. Do not use any diseased parts of plants in your compost.
  5. Be sure to rotate your crops so you don’t grow tomatoes and potatoes in the same soil every year.

A plant hit with the late blight disease