PDF Vegetables: Disease Diagnosis And Biomanagement

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In the center of the lesions, sooty-like spores develop, which can turn your finger black when you run it across the leaf. As the disease progress, the entire leaf can blight down. Stemphylium usually will infect the side of the leaf exposed to the prevailing winds or leaf tissue that has been damaged due to equipment or already infected by purple blotch.

It's favored by warm temperatures and long periods of leaf wetness. It is not uncommon to see both on the same leaf, and both pathogens survive in crop debris between seasons, so crop rotation is an important management strategy. Protectant fungicides will also help under lower disease pressure.


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Zonate lesions characteristic of purple blotch top and black sooty-like sporulation of Stemphylium leaf blight bottom. Center rot, a bacterial disease that starts on a leaf or leaves and progresses down into the neck and bulb of the onion results in one or two discolored rings in the bulb, is a common site in many onion fields this year due to the wet weather. Bacterial diseases tend to be favored by heat, so with the recent hot weather, some onions are starting to melt down.

Keep in mind once the neck of the onion is dried, the disease cannot progress into the bulb so if you have hot spots in the field, consider harvesting and drying down those plants early. Copper-based fungicides tank mixed with mancozeb will help reduce potential spread via rain splash to neighboring plants. Mancozeb has a 7-day PHI.

1. Introduction

Onion leaf collapsing due to center rot. The bacteria have not made into the neck and bulb of the onion yet. Powdery mildew continues to be an annual concern in cucurbit production. Since the pathogen primarily Podosphaera xanthii overwinter in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, the pathogens move into our production fields from other nearby sources typically moving from the southeast up along the east coast or in some cases from more northern sources. The first signs of powdery mildew are small white powdery spots most commonly seen on the underside of the leaves or within the plant canopy.

Pythium Damping-Off

When scouting, it is important to thoroughly look over the entire plant. Also, scout by cultivar to account for differences in host resistance; usually scouting the most susceptible cultivars first around the time of fruiting. If protectant fungicides are being used, sometimes the spots on the upper leaf surface are yellow or chlorotic with white powdery lesions on the corresponding underside of the leaf. Accurate diagnosis is critical because targeted conventional fungicides applied for managing powdery mildew are different than those used for downy mildew.

When powdery mildew occurs early in the season and is left unmanaged, it can severely reduce the photosynthetic area of the leaves needed to produce high-quality, marketable fruit. On pumpkin later in the season, it can also severely damage the handles leaving them weak further reducing marketability. Fungicides are an important tool for managing powdery mildew in-season.


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  8. However, resistance management is a concern. It is recommended that the most effective products are applied when symptoms are first observed one powdery mildew spot on 45 to 50 leaves and then later in the season when switching to a protectant spray program rather than the reverse. Successful management of vegetable diseases requires a disease management program that integrates the use of resistant varieties, balanced soil fertility, irrigation water management, weed and insect control, biocontrol, and chemical control.

    Development and implementation of a disease management plan and good record keeping will increase the overall yield and success of the vegetable crop.

    Horticultural Crops Pathology Laboratory

    Small fruit production has increased on a local and commercial scale throughout the United States due to the recognized health benefits of consuming berries and their derived products. Unfortunately disease and insect pests can often ruin the crop or damage the plant before the grower and consumer can reap the benefits of the fruit. Plant diseases and the effects of disease can greatly be reduced if an integrated pest management program is developed prior to buying or planting the plants. On this page you will find resources and knowledge to assist you with producing high quality, disease-free small fruits.

    Fruit and nut trees are the pride and joy of many Louisiana home owners. A sunny, open, well-ventilated site is important for growing healthy vegetables. Most vegetables need plenty of sun to thrive. Shade and dense vegetation around the site can encourage more plant disease by creating a more humid environment in which most plant pathogens thrive. Full sun speeds drying of the foliage, which can reduce the incidence of most foliar diseases. Crop rotation is very important in reducing losses to vegetable diseases.

    Continuous plantings of the same plant family of vegetables in the same spot provide opportunities for pathogen buildup. Only grow the same type of vegetable or closely-related vegetables in the same soil once every three to five years. This practice starves out most pathogens that cause stem and leaf diseases.

    These organisms are long-lived and affect many plant families. Table 1 lists common vegetables by families or groups. Rotate vegetables with others outside of that group to minimize soil-borne diseases. Many plant diseases can be seed-borne. If seeds are to be saved, consult seed saving guides for information on which plant species or cultivars are appropriate. Only save the seeds of healthy plants. Certain diseases, especially fungal and bacterial leaf and fruit spots, can contaminate the seed of their host plant with the disease-causing fungal spores or bacterial cells.

    When contaminated seed is planted the following year, the new plant is vulnerable to infection from this additional source of disease. Commercially available seed is often, but not always, produced in the arid western United States where seed-borne pathogens are less common. Seed should only be saved from healthy plants or purchased from reputable seed companies. Seed companies often apply fungicides to protect seeds. Although these treatments give some protection against pathogens in the soil that attack germinating seed and emerging seedlings, they do not control pathogens that may attack the plant after the seedling stage.

    Gardeners starting a crop from transplants should examine transplants carefully before purchasing. Select healthy transplants that appear disease- and insect-free. Planting resistant varieties is the most efficient way of managing troublesome vegetable diseases. Make an effort to buy resistant varieties when they are available.

    Chapter 2: Disease Management

    Seed catalogs generally list the resistant traits of vegetable varieties. In the Southeast, the important disease resistances with their seed catalog abbreviations to consider include:. Resistance is a relative term and resistant varieties can be either totally immune or only partially resistant depending on the disease and the variety. Less disease can be expected on partially resistant varieties, which may be enough to manage the disease in most years.

    Most resistant varieties are F1 hybrids.


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    5. Open pollinated or heirloom varieties generally will not be labeled as disease- resistant. Purchasing non-resistant varieties is also an option, although more care may be needed to prevent certain diseases. Planting dates can be an effective tool for disease management. Planting seeds when the soil is the wrong temperature for good germination can increase seed and seedling disease.

      Follow the recommended planting dates for the particular vegetable being grown. Warmseason crops are most susceptible to damage from cold temperatures and cool-season seed may not germinate if temperatures are hot.

      Original Research ARTICLE

      Planting date adjustment can also be used to avoid times of year when pest pressure is high. Generally, the most devastating pests occur during the warmer months. The desire to produce an early crop must be balanced against temperatures that are too cool for plant growth. Examples of crops that benefit from early planting and the pests that are avoided include: corn corn ear worm, rust , beans rusts, viruses, heat damage and squash stem borer, pickle worm, downy and powdery mildew, viruses.

      Planting transplants can help with getting a crop established early as long as the transplants are disease-free.

      Introduction to Plant Diseases of Field Crops (1/5)

      Proper spacing and trellising can reduce the occurrence of many vegetable foliar diseases, especially fungal and bacterial diseases that thrive in extended wet periods. Space plants properly to allow good air circulation. Wet conditions are prolonged if plants are crowded and unable to dry quickly. Tomatoes, beans and cucumbers, in particular, will benefit from some type of staking or trellising since they are all subject to troublesome foliar fungal and bacterial diseases. The improved air circulation will dry the foliage more quickly and reduce disease severity.

      Proper water management is important for keeping plants healthy.