You may be wondering how to cure bacterial leaf spots on peppers after seeing small spots on the leaves. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for leaf spots once symptoms manifest, but there are certain actions you can take to prevent it from infecting your plants in the first place.
Before you can prevent this disease, you need to know what it is. Bacterial leaf spot is a foliar disease that can permanently damage your pepper plants. It’s one of the most common pepper plant diseases in the United States.
What are the Symptoms of Bacterial Leaf Spots?
Once you notice small water-soaked spots under your pepper leaves, this may be a sign of a bacterial leaf spot. These spots can easily grow larger, and the leaves will turn brown and become slightly raised. You’ll also notice that some of the spots in the upper side of the leaves with beige centers and dark brown edges.
When the spotted leaves start to yellow, they’ll start to drop to the ground. The loss of leaves may expose your peppers under direct sunlight, causing sunscald. Additionally, without enough leaves, your pepper plants won’t be able to properly grow and develop flavorful fruit.
Bacterial leaf spot can also spread to your peppers. The remaining fruits may not be harvestable because infected peppers are smaller and sometimes have deformities. The bacterial infection is not the main cause of pepper decay, but the lesions on the fruit make them susceptible to other pathogens that can cause decay and other diseases.
How to Prevent Bacterial Leaf Spots
Remember that bacterial leaf spot has no cure. This means that if the symptoms start spreading, it’ll be too late to stop them. As mentioned, there are several things you can do to prevent bacterial leaf spots from developing.
One way to prevent the spread of bacterial leaf spot is through crop rotation. Make sure not to plant peppers in the same location within the past four to five years.
After an entire growing season, throw away any crop debris from your garden beds. Don’t turn them into the compost because this debris may contain infectious diseases that may harm your new plants once you’ve cleared out everything, till the soil to get rid of remaining bacteria.
Bacterial leaf spot is typically caused by damp soil getting onto the leaves, usually through watering overhead. Prevent excessive splattering by watering your pepper plants using a soaker hose or an appropriate irrigation system. Also, as much as possible, don’t water overhead.
The disease can also spread through contaminated seeds. To ensure that your seeds and seedlings are disease-free, buy them from a trusted local garden shop. Don’t use your pepper seeds if you’ve had problems with bacterial leaf spot before.
Other Ways to Prevent Bacterial Lead Spots
There are other ways you can do to prevent bacterial leaf spot. These include planting resistant pepper variants; using mulch plants with organic materials; switching to drip irrigation; eliminating extra moisture; regularly checking your pepper plants for weeds and soaking your seeds in a chlorine solution for two minutes.
In case you’re wondering, if you don’t know how to make a chlorine solution, try mixing 1-part bleach and nine parts water. Furthermore, you need to make sure that your seeds are rinsed off and dried well before you sow them.
Why It Pays to Grow Your Peppers in a Greenhouse
There are several reasons why growing peppers in a greenhouse is a good idea. Here are some of the benefits of mini greenhouse gardening:
Protect your plants from pests and diseases
Flea beetles, cutworms, aphids, corn borers, and whiteflies are some of the bugs that harm your peppers. Aside from the bacterial leaf spot, other diseases like southern blight, powdery mildew, and the mosaic virus can also be detrimental to your plants. Placing them in an enclosed greenhouse lowers the risk of attracting pests and other infectious diseases.
Keep your plants safe from unpredictable climates
Storm, blizzard, excessive heat, and strong winds can easily wipe out your entire garden. It’s hard to grow crops in unpredictable climates, but it isn’t impossible. A mini greenhouse makes it easier for gardeners to grow crops regardless of the weather outside. This means that even if it’s snowing, you can continue to grow crops. (However, you may need supplemental materials like grow lights and insulation.)
Start planting early
Did you know that you can use mini-greenhouses to start plant growth early? You can start planting your seeds and seedlings even before the cold season begins in your area. Once the weather clears and warms, you can transplant your crops into your garden and enjoy an early harvest.
Perfect for people with limited garden space
If you’re into gardening, but you don’t have a backyard, a small greenhouse is a perfect solution. You can grow almost anything, plus, they’re compact and convenient. Even though it’s small, mini-greenhouses offer the same benefits as larger greenhouses.
Final Thoughts on How to Cure Bacterial Leaf Spots on Peppers
To recap on how to cure bacterial leaf spots on peppers, the first thing you need to know is that it isn’t curable if the symptoms are starting to spread. However, it is definitely preventable. Remember to plant resistant pepper varieties and make sure the seeds are clean and free of diseases. Isolate your transplants before you plant them in your garden and check if they have any symptoms of any type of disease.