1
point
How to reduce disease build up

General    PA

Hi
I saw the reply about rotation and I myself have had problem with late blight and powdery mildew on different plants (tomatoes, eggplants and basil, but also others). I thought the message of rotation other shared was great. I get the impression from what I read that disease build up in the garden? Is there specific advice people can give for ways I could prevent the disease building up?
thanks


Posted by: Marsha Anderson (5 points) Marsha Anderson
Posted: March 21, 2013




Answers

1
point
If you know what diseases you had, you can buy varieties that resist those diseases the next year. Certain seed companies tell you the disease resistance in the description of the variety. I have had many issues with powdery mildew on my cucumbers, so I only order varieties that were resistant to the disease.


Posted by: Rachel Melnick-Lippart (3 points) Rachel Melnick-Lippart
Posted: March 22, 2013


Marsha Anderson commented,
Thanks Rachel. How do those varieties work? Do they have special chemicals inside? I dont want to use chemicals if possible? Thanks
over 9 years ago.

Kerry Mauck commented,
Resistant varieties don't have special chemicals, but they have an "immune system" more suited to defending against certain attackers. Like anything in life, "chemicals" are involved, but they are natural plant-produced molecules, not something we engineered into the plants from another organism. Plants bred for resistance are one of the best ways that organic farmers can deal with disease or pests. Note that "resistant" is not always the same as "transgenic". Transgenic plants can be engineered to contain genetic material from a different species that confers resistance to a pest or pathogen, but the varieties you buy in the seed catalog should all be produced by "traditional" plant breeding, which just involves crossing different varieties of the same plant species to get a new variety that has a bit from each of its parent varieties.
over 9 years ago.



1
point
Not all plant diseases "build up" in the soil, and some (e.g., botrytis blight http://bit.ly/Zi0oWz; powdery mildew http://bit.ly/Zi0Pjv) affect such a wide range of plants that rotation alone won't solve the problem.

Best ways to prevent diseases in any crop: learn as much as possible about the diseases prevalent in your area, look for resistant varieties as Rachel says, check plants often for signs of disease (then rogue out the sick ones if possible), and--very important--remove all diseased plant tissue from your garden. Don't compost it! Bag it and put it out with the trash, or bury it somewhere far from the garden,

Late blight is a special case. If it hits your area, it's almost impossible to protect your tomatoes and potatoes without fungicides. Organic growers can use fixed copper or Bacillus subtilis http://bit.ly/Zi1JfP, which generally work only as preventatives, not once a plant has been infected.

Note: I've found Little Leaf cucumber highly resistant to powdery mildew and other cucurbit diseases. It's a compact plant (good for containers), but produces heavy yields of good-sized pickling cukes. Also resists those awful cucumber beetles.


Posted by: Peg Boyles (3 points) Peg Boyles
Posted: March 22, 2013


Marsha Anderson commented,
Thanks a lot Peg. Those information sheets were really helpful
over 9 years ago.



0
points
Disease build-up really depends on the type of disease and the location you're in. For northern areas that get plenty of freezing conditions, you will get a lot less disease pressure since most diseases cannot withstand the cold temperatures. Also, there are soil-borne diseases that can survive in the soil and there are some that require infected plant tissue. Honestly, disease build-up in soil should be dealt with on a case-by-case scenario. Solenaceae plants (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) tend to have a few soil-borne diseases that can occur over time, and Cucurbits can get a few, most notably Fusarium wilt. If you think there is a soil disease problem, ask your local extension agent. If you want to be proactive, just rotate every few years.


Posted by: Kathryn Fiedler (72 points) Kathryn Fiedler
Posted: March 26, 2013




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