Plant Diseases and Treatments

Plant Diseases and Treatments

The usual plant diseases and their treatments:

Mildews are broadly of two types: powdery and downy. The powdery forms do less damage in general than the downy, grey matted mildews. They both attack plants under stress, ‘eating’ them from the outside. The commonest causes are plants being too dry at the roots and stagnant air. Good growing conditions suitable to the plant, careful pruning and training to allow access of air and light will do much to alleviate mildews. Having many alliums growing nearby may offer some protection, but this needs time to work. Removing diseased material will reduce the spread. Equisetum tea, seaweed, garlic and nettle sprays are all claimed to make the plants tougher and more resistant, as may mustard-seed flour.

Rust fungus - plant diseases and treatments Rusts in many ways are very similar to mildews, and like mildews they tend to appear on different plants at the same time, because the conditions are suitable. It is not because the rust has spread from one plant to the other, because in general it does not. However, some rusts do have alternate hosts where they spend part of the year on one plant and then move to another for the winter. For example, wild berberis harbours wheat rust over winter. Hygiene and the permissible fungicides cited above are usually effective if used in time.

Botrytis or grey mould is nearly always associated with high humidity. Improving air flow and drier conditions arrest it. Some fungicides may help and, horrifyingly, it has been found that fresh urine sprayed on stops attacks on soft fruit!

Wilts and rots are soil-dwelling organisms of all sorts which attack unhealthy plants which soon succumb. These are most often only a problem with young seedlings. Once plants are growing well they are rarely attacked. Rather than the futile effort of sterilising the soil, add real live garden compost and the goodies soon eat the baddies! Trichoderma also proves useful but, as mentioned above, it is not available to amateurs in the UK.

Bacterial or virus diseases – Good garden hygiene, healthy plants and the control of vectors spreading the diseases are the most effective controls. For example, removing the mite-swollen buds from blackcurrants helps prevent reversion attacks.

25. January 2011 by admin
Categories: Pest and Disease Control | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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