Have you ever noticed circular dark brown lesions on the older leaves of your plants? If so, it could be early blight.
This is a common fungal disease that affects many types of plants, from vegetables to ornamental plants. Thankfully, there are some simple and natural ways to prevent and treat early blight.
What Is Early Blight?
As mentioned, early blight is a fungal disease. It affects tomatoes, potatoes, and other vegetables. It’s primarily caused by a fungus called Alternaria solani 
With the right conditions, the disease can spread quickly. It first manifests as small brown spots on the older leaves of affected plants.
As the disease spreads, it causes the leaves to turn yellow, wither and die. If left unchecked, early blight can lead to significant crop damage.
Plants That Early Blight Affects
It is most commonly found on tomato and potato plants, but some other plants can be affected as well. These include eggplant, peppers, and tomatillos.
If you have any of these host plants in your garden, you’ll need to be extra vigilant about getting rid of early blight when you see it — and even more vigilant in preventing its spread in the first place.
How to Get Rid of Early Blight Naturally
These are a few home remedies and natural methods that can help you control early blight and protect your plants.
1. Prune or Stake Plants
Pruning or staking your plants is an excellent way to control early blight naturally. It’s a good idea to stake plants, like tomatoes, that tend to sprawl.
Staking can help create better air circulation, so the plant leaves and fruits can dry quickly after rain. Plus, clipping branches can help promote healthy airflow around the plant.
You should also prune away any dead leaves or stems from your plants. By removing dead foliage as soon as you notice it, you can significantly reduce the spread of this disease in your garden.
2. Avoid Overhead Watering
When it comes to avoiding crop blight, one of the best preventative measures you can take is to avoid overhead watering.
It sounds simple enough, but it makes all the difference. That’s because when water droplets stay where they fall on the leaves for extended periods, it increases the likelihood of fungal diseases like early blight.
Rather than watering from above, opt for drip irrigation. These dampen the ground without getting any liquid onto the plants themselves.
Mulching helps reduce the splashing of fungal spores onto the leaves of your plants.
Dry grass clippings and straw are great organic mulches you can use. You’ll also see benefits like increased fertility in your soil over time.
4. Disinfect Gardening Tools
Gardening tools can spread early blight and other fungal diseases, so you’ll need to take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The easiest way to keep your tools clean is to scrub them off with a soapy solution.
Let your tools soak for about 10 minutes before rinsing them off with clean water. This will help get rid of any fungus or mildew that may be lurking on the tools.
5. Essential oils
Tea tree oil essential oil has natural antifungal properties that can help fight fungal diseases like early blight in tomato plants . Oils like caraway, thyme, and carnation oil also help.
Make up a solution of one cup of water and 20 drops of essential oil, and use it to spray your gardening tools after each use.
You can also make a homemade early blight spray for your plants. For the recipe, combine 20 drops of essential oil of choice, two tablespoons of liquid soap, and 5 liters of water.
6. Crop Rotation
Another way to reduce early blight is through crop rotation.
This natural method involves planting your crops in a different area each season. Or, planting different types of plants in the same area during each growing season.
This helps to break the life cycle of the disease.
7. Remove Infected Plants
If you already have an early blight infection, the best thing that you can do is remove the affected plants immediately. This means cutting away any leaves or stems that are showing signs of the fungus, and disposing of them properly.
8. Clean Up Garden Debris
Eliminating garden debris is one of the most important things you can do to prevent early blight. Garden debris provides just the right conditions for the spores to survive.
So, make sure you regularly clean up leaves, plants, twigs, and other debris that has accumulated in your garden.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a home remedy that many organic gardeners use as a natural fungicide, and with great success.
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a quart of water and spray directly onto infected plants. Moreover, adding a teaspoon of dish soap to the mixture helps it stick to the plant.
10. Space Plants Properly
The better the air circulation between plants, the less likely the fungal spores will stick around.
Therefore, give each plant enough room. Give each plant at least 3 feet of distance from its neighbor so air can circulate freely around them.
11. Remove Weeds
It’s also essential to remove weeds that can harbor insects. Some insects help to spread early blight spores.
Weeds can be removed with a hoe, by pulling them up manually, or by using an organic herbicide.
12. Arber Bio Protectant
This product may be the perfect solution if you are in search of a natural early blight fungicide. Arber Bio Protectant can help keep your plants healthy and is especially effective against early blight.
And unlike other commercial sprays or treatments, it is completely safe for plants, people, and the environment.
Cueva is also an all-natural fungicide that you can use as an early blight treatment.
It is a concentrated, highly effective liquid solution that helps control and prevent diseases caused by fungi.
Early blight can cause serious damage to certain plants if left unchecked. But with these natural solutions, you can protect your plants from blight and ensure they stay healthy.