Understanding Diseases That Affect Common Garden Plants | Community

Hello casual gardeners. I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend while remembering our fallen soldiers who fought and died for our freedom. Over the next two weeks, I will briefly describe some of the most common diseases and pathogens attacking our vegetables. Some are carried by the parasites you’ve heard about for the past 3 weeks, others by fungal, bacterial and environmental conditions. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, most diseases can be prevented by 1) planting disease resistant varieties, 2) consistent soil moisture, and 3) keeping your flower beds or pots free. garden debris. Follow these suggestions in all your gardens: vegetable, landscape and ornamental.

First, Blossom End Rot. This is caused by environmental factors and not by a pathogen. It is caused by irregular watering (dry then wet, dry again…) and/or a calcium imbalance in your soil. You will notice a circular rot spot where the bloom was on your tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelon. Prevention and control would be to feed the leaves with a kelp or calcium solution or add powdered eggshells to the base of your plant and water it down.

Early blight is a fungal disease that overwinters in plant debris, primarily affecting tomatoes, potatoes and celery. Damage can be seen as dark spots on older leaves followed by defoliation with canker on fruits and tubers. Hot, humid weather favors the spread of the disease. To prevent, follow the three suggestions above and to control, try a spray or dust with a copper-based fungicide.

Late blight is similar to downy mildew except that it attacks plants after they bloom. Both can be devastating to tomato and potato plants.

Fusarium wilt is a widespread disease and hundreds of plant varieties are susceptible to it. There is no effective treatment! The leaves and stems turn yellow from the base and become stunted and eventually die. This is where point 1 above becomes very important Remove the plant and don’t put it in your compost – throw it away.

Many readers are unsure of diagnosing their plant’s situation. Feel free to send me pictures of the condition of your plants and let me know what you think.