If you squeeze a potato and a pale ooze comes out of its eyes, it has brown rot.
Also known as bacterial wilt of tomato and potato and southern bacterial wilt, potato brown rot is not the bacterial wilt that infects cucurbits or the brown rot of stone fruit trees. Instead, this disease targets the nightshade family, infecting eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. Oddly enough, bananas, ginger, and olives are also susceptible.
They can remain viable in water for 40 years (under ideal conditions) and in the soil for up to two years. Bacteria enter plants through wounds and natural openings and move to the xylem, where they reproduce, clogging veins and killing the plant.
Managing potato brown rot
Chemical treatments are ineffective against potato brown rot, and serious infections require soil solarization, so prevention is your best bet. These tips can help prevent potato brown rot in your garden:
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
To help The Daily Garden grow, you may see affiliate ads sprouting up in various places.
You can also get my book, Stop Wasting Your Yard!