Please help me, More Bees! That last article was awesome but I have seen spotting infecting my plants! What is it and what do I do?
Well, let us be the first to tell you that helping you is what we love to do. Next, that sounds like you have a diseased plant. Now; the world isn’t going to burn to the ground, there are things that can be done before completely removing the plant. If you have already tossed the infected plants then use this to better equip yourself for the next bout.
What Can Cause These Diseases?
Many things from aphids and slugs to the soil getting too wet, too hot, and/or too cold, or simply bacteria and fungi being carried through the water or wind. It all depends on the plants condition when it became infected. Much like we get sick when our immune systems are compromised, plants also run the risks of becoming ill when their defenses are worn down. So, what can infect the plant and what can it do to the rest of the garden?
Know the Enemy
No worries; friends, we were just going to get there. Anyone who manages are garden typically does what they can to optimize garden health. From helping remove pests to simply watering and supplying fresh soil and beneficial nutrients. But, beyond what some novice gardeners realize, those yellow spots aren’t necessarily “sun spots” or wilting. We hope the information below helps in combating some of the more common diseases and you can optimize the health of your yard.
What is blight? It is typically characterized by rapid chlorosis -or the sudden decreased ability to produce chlorophyll- and deterioration resulting in plant death.
There are many types of blight and each typically affects plants in various weather conditions and seasons. Take Early and Late Blight for instance; the names typically correlate to when each occur. Though they can be seen affecting plants at the same time, early blight is more prominent early in the year and when humidity is high and the temperature is warmer. Late blight tends to occur later in the year and favors cool temperatures and moist conditions. Others like bur oak blight, leaf blight, fire blight, chestnut blight, and so on. Being vigilant and understanding the speed and capability of blight can help protect you plants and prevent further spread.
Here is a helpful link to help further understand the many types of common blight and how to deal with them.
The next contender that offends our garden is downy mildew; a fungal infection that begins as small yellow blotches on the plants that may be more noticeable after rainfall. They can increase and change in color based on length of infection, plant health, and even the plant infected as fungus has varieties for each plant species it infects.
Downy mildew will infect plants from either air, water, insects, or even indirect contact from tools used on other infected plants. They will sporulate in cool and moist conditions typically during spring and fall. This disease is rather quick to peak and difficult to control so dealing with it sooner is better.
More information can be found via the links below.
No, not that orange gunk that occurs on your garden tools or car due to alloys reacting to oxygen and moisture. Rust on plants is a fungal parasite disease that infects over 5,000 different plants. The fungus is typically orange to brown specks on the plant as first. White pustules will eventually form and then darken and turn black.
Rust prefers four to eight hours of low light and warm, moist conditions before long exposure to intense light, high temperatures, and dry leaf surfaces. Overwinter the areas will blacken and becomes cork-like. This disease can cause defoliation and deformation and easily infect other nearby plants.
Further information can be gathered with the following links.
Some Helpful Ways to Prevent
Now that we have gone over some common diseases that plague plants, we should give you the pot of gold at the end of this little rainbow. No worries, we aren’t going to say to spend tons of money to resolve these issues as there are simpler ways as well as some pretty good preventive measures to ensure continued health and easy upkeep.
- One great way to deal with and prevent most ailments is to purchase or even build your own greenhouse. Greenhouses offer the ability to control the temperature and humidity plus they keep many airborne fungi from landing on your plants. You can also adapt your greenhouse to generate air flow to help improve plant health. Regular cleaning in the start of the season can also prevent slugs and other pest infestations.
- Planning your garden and keeping proper spacing. Both are key in preventing disease spread and allowing proper air circulation. Planning your garden can help promote more better hygiene and easier upkeep so tending to the plants can be easier.
- Weeding; yes, simple as that. Pulling weeds can reduce the chances of rot and promote healthier soils and more nourishment for your plants.
- Cleaning your garden tools. Never thought much of that well used gardening shovel or those sheers. But, those trusty tools can very well be what caused the disease to spread. You should regularly clean your tools as to help prevent anything from clinging to them and disinfect them after dealing with an infected or infested plant.
- Primarily work with local plants from a nearby rather than ordering offline. Local nurseries can assure of the plant health and allow you to chose your own plant rather than ordering plants of unknown origin and health from the internet.
- Rotate your plants and crops to help thwart bacteria development that can cause root rot and disperse fresh soil to help feed your plants.
Always dispose of dead leaves or plants in proper waste reciprocals for making them compost can infect your garden as well as all your compost. Wash your hands or change gloves -and remember to wash them before use- after each interacting with an infected plant. All of these measures can help deal with infected plants and prevent furthering all or any infections.
What About Pests?
Oh am I glad you asked, click here for the link to last week’s article where we covered many common pests and really awesome ways to deal with them. As for the next installment of this article series; please hold onto next week where will inform you or various remedies and methods to helping promote garden health as a whole. In the meantime, help us out by sharing this article with your family, friends, and even coworkers to spread the word.
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