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Control Target Spot on plants and vegetables


August 1, 2022


Searles Gardening Team

What are Target Spot symptoms? (Alternaria solani)

Target spot is a fungal disease that mainly affects the foliage of many members of the Solanacea family such as potatoes, tomatoes and capsicums. It can also be transferred to the tubers of potatoes and occasionally the fruit of others. It is also referred to as 'early blight' on potatoes.

What does Target spot look like?

Target spot is most commonly noticed during the shorter and cooler days of Autumn through winter while crops are in a growth period.

Small, dark markings appear within the vein structure of the leaves and over time will become circular. Later the edges of these markings become raised and almost leathery to the touch giving the appearance of a distinct ring around each spot.

How to control Target Spot

  • Encourage healthy, strong growth of plants with adequate moisture and nutrition.
  • Practice regular crop rotation methods so problems do not re-occur and reinfect young plants.
  • Ensure all seed you may sow are disease free. Avoid collecting seed from mature plants showing this disease. If target spot becomes a major concern, remove all plants and burn or bin - do not compost!  Allow soil to be fallow for at least one season before attempting to replant.

Control Target Spot by spraying with Searles Copper Oxychloride.