Garden diseases and how to deal with them!

Diseases can cause absolute havoc on your plants, so be sure to identify what the disease is and what the best ways to get rid of it are. I hope you all can save your garden from disease with this information if you ever need to.

 

Anthracnose


How does anthracnose negatively affect your plants?

  • On fruits, small, dark, sunken spots will form, which may spread throughout the plant. In wet weather, pink spores will form in the center of these spots.
  • On plant leaves and vegetables, anthracnose will appear as irregular, small brown or yellow spots. These spots darken as they age and can also expand to cover the entire leaf.
  • On trees, it will kill the tips of young branches and attack the leaves, those will develop brown spots and patches and cause the tree to defoliate.

 

How can you manage anthracnose?

You need to destroy any infected plants you have in the garden. If trees are infected, try to prune out the infected wood and burn any infected leaves. Spray your plants with a copper-based fungicide. Be careful when doing this however because copper is not that great for your soil, toxins will build up if used in excess.

How can you prevent anthracnose?

Purchase plants that are resistant to anthracnose such as Calypso cucumber and Charleston Gray watermelon and make sure your plants are in well-drained soil. Make sure you don’t touch the plants while wet and that the plants’ fruit does not touch the soil.

 

Bacterial Leaf Spot

How does bacterial leaf spots negatively affect your plants?

Tomatoes, peppers, and cabbage-family crops are affected by Bacterial Leaf Spots. Dark and wet spots will appear on your plant leaves. Eventually, these will dry up and fall off. Small, sunken dark spots and cracks will also appear on fruits.

 

How can you manage bacterial leaf spots?

Spray down plants with a copper-based fungicide as soon as you detect the leaf spots. Remove infected leaves so they cant spread to other healthy leaves.

How can you prevent bacterial leaf spots?

Remove any old vegetable debris and do not plant anything where infected plants were growing. Make sure to rotate your crops and refrain from overhead watering.

 

Clubroot

How does clubroot negatively affect your plants?

Clubroot affects Brassica crops. Some examples are cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Old leaves will turn yellow and fall off, roots will become distorted and swollen. The entire plant could swell, crack, and become misshapen causing it to rot and not absorb nutrients as well as it should be. Often times infected plants will wilt during the day and revive at night.

 


How can you manage clubroot?

Look for disease-resistant crop varieties because fungicides will not treat this soil-dwelling micro-organism. Spores can remain up to 20 years in your garden soil, so solarizing it may become necessary to do. (Solarizing is basically placing a clear plastic tarp on top of your garden soil for 4-6 weeks during the hottest time of the year.) Raise your soil pH levels to 7.2 during the fall season.

How can you prevent clubroot?

Sterilize your gardening tools, rotate your crops, make sure your garden is clean and tidy, and kill any weeds growing around your garden because some weeds are susceptible to clubroot.

 

Downy Mildew

How does downy mildew negatively affect your plants?

While commonly confused with powdery mildew, downy mildew is a different ailment. The big difference is that downy mildew is NOT a fungus and is actually algae! Downy mildew affects most plants and leaves a white to purple growth on the underside of leaves and stems.

How can you manage downy mildew?

The best way to avoid it is to avoid the conditions that favor it. Prune your plants to improve air circulation and water them in the morning so they have all day to dry out. If you discover the infection early on, simply apply copper fungicides every 7 to 10 days until harvest.

How can you prevent downy mildew?

The best way to prevent downy mildew is to water your plants from below, as it all begins when water is resting on the tops of your plant leaves. Once your plants are infected the best thing you can do is to eliminate excess moisture around the plant. If you have an outside garden, Downy Mildew normally clears up once the weather warms up.

 

Powdery Mildew


How does powdery mildew negatively affect your plants?

Plants are covered in a grey to white powdery growth. It starts off as small spots but eventually they will expand to cover the entire leaf. Fruits will ripen prematurely and be spoiled, leaves will fall off and die. Young foliage is the most susceptible to this.

 

 


How can you manage powdery mildew?

Remove all the infected areas of the plant and destroy them, you cannot compost them because there’s a chance that the disease will be spread by the wind. You can also spray the infect plants with fungicides. Effective fungicides include sulfur, lime-sulfur, neem oil, and potassium bicarbonate.

How can you prevent powdery mildew?

Restrain yourself from watering plants from overhead, just like with downy mildew. Prune overcrowded areas of your plants to increase air circulation. Spraying the above-mentioned fungicides in advance will also help in preventing Powdery Mildew from infecting your plants.

 

    Early Blight

How does early blight negatively affect your plants?

Early blight symptoms include dark and brown spots on leaves that grow bigger and develop rings, dying leaves, and sunken spots on fruits and tubers. These are most commonly seen with tomato and potato plants.

How can you manage early blight?

Remove all infected leaves and burn them. Place mulch around the base of your plants. If blight has been spotted on multiple leaves, apply a fungicide that will kill spores.

How can you prevent early blight?

Rotate crops every 2 years. Plant blight-resistant tomatoes and potatoes. Use a tomato cage so your tomatoes don’t lay on the ground. Restrain from watering overhead so water won’t rest on your leaves

 

Late Blight

How does late blight negatively affect your plants?

While Early Blight is less serious, Late Blight is deadly for your plants. Late Blight affects tomatoes and potatoes and happens in the later seasons. Look for water-soaked spots on lower leaves and white fungal growth under them. Your plants will die in wet weather.

How can you manage late blight?

Once you see Late Blight there’s not much you can do. Removing the infected plant and burning it so that it cannot infect other plants is recommended.

How can you prevent late blight?

Plant Resistant Cultivators. As Late Blight comes after Early Blight, you can help prevent Late Blight by doing all of the things to prevent Early Blight.

 

 

Mosaic Virus

How does the mosaic virus negatively affect your plants?

The mosaic virus causes mottled green and yellow foliage. Leaves may curl up and shrivel. Plant growth is often stunted and deformities in plants are common.

How can you manage the mosaic virus?

Once plants are infected, there is no way to save them. Remove infected plants and burn them.


How can you prevent the mosaic virus?

Remove all the weeds around the area your plants are in, place down some plant row covers, and introduce the natural predators to aphids and leafhoppers to your garden.

 

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