23August 2, 2018

The hot and sticky weather has brought a new visitor to your gardens. Fungus diseases thrive when the dew settles on your plants during the nighttime hours. Tall phlox and bee balm can easily develop in your perennial beds. In your vegetable garden, just about all of your plants can develop some type of fungus diseases. You need to be on the lookout for fungus diseases. They can infect plants quickly and can damage leaves in short order and can eventually kill the plant. Let me tell you about some of the diseases and how you can take care of the problem.

Probably the most common of the fungus diseases around here is powdery mildew. If you see what would appear to be white powder on the leaves of your plants, you probably have powdery mildew developing on the leaves. Powdery mildew is a common problem on squash and cucumber plants. Over time, the leaves are covered in white powder and eventually the leaves die. If you have squash and cucumbers in your garden, you should be applying a preventative fungicide called Serenade. This fungicide will prevent the growth of the spores of the powdery mildew. Spores are the “ eggs “ of the disease. With regular applications of Serenade, you can keep the powdery mildew in control. Once the powdery mildew is present on the plants, you should switch to a fungicide call Fung-onil. This fungicide will stop the spread of the powdery mildew.

On cucumbers and squash, you may also see downy mildew on the leaves. This generally appears as yellow spots all across the leaves. Application of copper fungicides early on can keep this disease in check.

Since many of you grow tomatoes, you need to be aware of the fungus diseases that can infect tomato plants. One of the first tomato diseases to arrive is called early blight. If early blight is present on the leaves, there will be a distinctive bulls -eye spot on the leaves. Over time, early blight will weaken the plant and cause decreased yields of tomatoes. In the later stages of the disease, it can infect the tomatoes as well. Applications of Serenade or Fung-onil help to keep early blight under control.

Tomatoes can also get a disease called late blight. This is one of the most devastating diseases of tomatoes. Several years back, late blight started attacking plants in June and most people lost all of their tomato plants to the disease. Late blight shows up as brown lesions on the stem of the plant and also shows up as wilted leaves that go from light green to brown. Unfortunately, late blight is hard to control and removing the infected plants from your garden may offer a chance for other plants to survive.

As I said earlier, your perennials may also be infected with different fungus diseases. Powdery mildew, leaf spots and rust are common on many perennials and also on rose bushes. The unfortunate thing is that many people don’t pay as much attention to the perennials. As with most plant diseases, if you can catch them early on, you have a better chance at stopping the disease.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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