More food shortages? Phytophthora infects vegetable gardens across the country

by Jane Rising

Shortage seems to be the theme of 2020 and 2021. Everything from Meat NS goods even Semiconductors Provide a list of possible or confirmed shortages. Now, the early start to the fungus attacking vegetables could leave us without pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving nor Jack-o-Fantern at Halloween!

What is phytophthora?

P. capsici Blight, unfortunately, hit pumpkins early and hard this year, jeopardizing the supply of commercially canned purees as well as jack-o’-lanterns. “Home gardeners may also see it affect their ability to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and pumpkins.” [source] P. capsici: Infects squash and other cucurbits, peppers and eggplant.

Phytophthora, classified as an egg fungus, is a fungal genus with 170 described species and another 100-500 species awaiting discovery. Phytophthora is a water mold, and there is no single species that makes any good garden or field product.

P. infestans It is the insect responsible for the Irish potato famine in the 19th century and is a serious problem in potatoes today. Members of this troublesome genus (listed below) infect the Solanaceae family, including potatoes, eggplants, squash including squash, gourds, strawberries, and many economically important trees, flowers, and shrubs. P. Parasites Attacks sweet peppers, tomatoes and eggplant. this is The infection is commonly called Buckeye rot.

This article contains general information that applies to squash, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and common vegetables grown in home gardens. Source links throughout this article contain images, which are of course easy to diagnose.

General signs and symptoms of squash and potato infection

The following is an extensive list of general symptoms of infection to aid in the detection and diagnosis of the disease.

First general signs: The water-soaked spots are small, pale to dark olive green, angular to irregular, and found on the lower leaves at the tips or edges of the leaves. Pests rapidly expand into large areas of dark brown to purple-black dead areas during cool, damp weather.

Symptoms of early fruit infectionPests: Their color is grayish-green or brown, showing where the fruit came into contact with the soil. Buckeye rot pests have a smooth surface with a diffusely defined margin. Late blight lesions develop a rough surface and a sharply defined margin.

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Potato tuber symptomsLesions are small to large, irregular, slightly drooping, red to brown, or hard purple surface. Brown extends to dark reddish-brown, dry granular mold to tuber.

Pumpkin fields: This infection usually appears first in low-lying areas where the soil remains moist for a long time. Crown rot causes the entire plant to collapse and die. Water-soaked pests are initially dark olive and become dark brown within a few days. [source]

On Specifically pumpkinAnd It affects roots, stems, leaves and fruits.

General signs and symptoms of strawberry, pepper and tomato infection

Strawberry root rot: The outer root cortex remains white while the inner core or stele turns pinkish-red. After a few minutes of exposure, healthy root tissues turn red. [source]

this site Also includes interesting information about laboratory diagnosis as well as specific root rot symptoms. You will find detailed information on beneficial fungicides and fertilizer regimen for management as well.

Skin rot on strawberries: It occurs during flowering or after fruit set when moist conditions and berries come into contact with the soil. Infected flower clusters turn brown and die. Immature fruit, affected areas appear brown to black. Ripe fruits range in color from light tan to bright red or green, and the fruit becomes hard and leathery. [source]

Skin rot is currently a problem for me. The amount of captan I used to get even in some of the larger bowls was horrible. I can not imagine eating rotten fruit. This is the horrific look.

Root rot in pepper: Some pepper species are resistant to the root rot stage of the disease but are susceptible to the crown rot stage. Varieties resistant to Phytophthora blight: Paladin, Aristotle, Ad, Intruder, Vanguard, Hechisero, and Sequoia. [source]

Infection in tomatoes: also because of P. capsici They are called Buckeye rot, similar to cucurbits and peppers. [source]

life cycle

The pathogen spends the winter in infected tubers and diseased plants and adore cold and damp conditions. Nights in the 1950s with days in the 60-75°F range and high humidity over 4-5 days are most favorable for blight development. The body of a fruiting plant (sporangia) not only forms thick-walled spores that can survive for several years (ovules), but also performs the movement of spores (zoospores) which means they swim. Animal spores persist for at least five years.


Crop rotation is crucial. Resistant plant varieties if possible. However, be aware that resistance can decrease over time. Resistant cultivars are also likely to require some fungicides. Avoid planting sensitive hosts in fields where Phytophthora is present for at least three years. If watering is the irrigation system of choice, water in the early morning so that the leaves dry quickly. Avoid using surface water as your source as it may carry spores.

planted in high beds With black plastic mulch that helps drain water away from the plants and prevents the fruits from coming into direct contact with the soil. However, be aware that water can collect under the plastic and help spread the infection. Increase fungicide coverage on individual plants by widening rows and reducing the number of plants in the field.

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Minibeds on plastic It consists of several small, 30 by 30 foot high tubs made of wood, spaced about 18 inches apart and built over a plastic mulch screen. The plastic inside the wooden frames is cut and removed and used as small planting beds. Plastic over the surrounding area retains moisture in the soil and prevents weeds from growing.

Sewage It is also a powerful preventative technology. Remove diseased plants as well as plants adjacent to them. Cremation or burial may be your best option. Power wash equipment that was in a field infested with plants. If you use hand tools, bleach is your friend.

fungicides: There are a number of these labeled for use on Phytophthora. Consider combination therapy because the fungi have developed resistance to some of them, mefenoxam, for example. Like I said, this is very bad and aggressive sex.

Are there more shortages on our way?

Plant blight is a vicious disease that has a significant economic impact. It is difficult to eradicate, so prevention is your best defense. Even with the treatment, my bed produced significantly less strawberries than usual. There is clear evidence that I will be treating my garden next year as well.

Maybe it’s a good time to learn how to grow pumpkins!

Has your garden contracted this disease? Were you able to manage it successfully? Has your garden survived? Share your garden disease stories with us in the comments section.

special thanks for to get information!

Jayne Rising is a gardener and book educator with a BA from the University of Wisconsin and a Master Gardener. She has been growing food in her small urban area since 2010 and has been teaching others how to do so since 2015. She is involved in a number of local urban farming initiatives, working to bring a sustainable, healthy diet back into the mainstream.

Source: Organic Prepper

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