Gardening Tips for Avoiding Fungal Diseases

Posted by Nick Niesen on November 1st, 2010

Summertime is a time of great joy for the gardening enthusiast. He gets to gaze on his garden in it?s full glory and show off the fruits of her efforts. Unfortunately, it is no time to rest on your laurels, as it were, because this is one of the times of year that funguses can take hold and destroy your plants. These type of plant diseases thrive on moisture and humidity, so they can quickly get out of hand.

Avoid Evening Watering

During summer, many climate zones are subjected to high humidity, which might result in lots of problems in your garden. To get your plants nice and dry, tuck them in for night nice and dry. In other words, watering in the evening should be avoided to prevent damage to the plants.

Plan for Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a common fungus mostly affecting ornamental plants. This fungal growth creates a white film on the leaves of the plants in your garden. It can be partially removed by rubbing the leaves, but unless you only have a few plants this isn?t a very effective remedy. You should begin by applying a fungicide product containing Bacillus subtilis, jojoba oil, sulfur or lime sulfur when the initial white patches are observed. This fungus also favors closely spaced plants, densely growing plants, and shady areas. So take this into account when planning your garden layout if your summer climate has high humidity.

Prevention of Pythium Blight

If you?re in the north, and have perennial Rye grass, then you need to be careful not to leave your grass wet at night. A fungus called Pythium Blight may take hold, because this fungus love to grow in high humid conditions, especially at night. If uncontrolled, this disease can cause large areas of turf to wilt, turn brown and die.

Pythium blight can be readily seen in the early morning on the top of the lawn as a white cotton candy-like growth. Pythium blight can easily be controlled by watering in the day at the earliest possible time. Other preventative measures include removing thatch periodically, avoiding overly thick growth by moderating use of fertilizers and improving soil drainage through aeration.

Fire Blight

Fire Blight, yet another culprit that likes to grow during summer months. This fungus attacks Pear, crabapple and Apple trees. Fire Blight can be seen as a blossom blight a week or two after the blooming, which turns black on pear and brown on apple trees, causing the whole blossom cluster to wilt and die. Antibiotic sprays are quite successful in countering the blossom blight phase of Fire Blight.

Fire Blight can also be controlled by overwinter pruning of affected branches from the main plant. Cuts should be made at least four inches below the affected areas, which can be detected by dead bark. Don?t forget the Fire Blight is contagious, so any prunings should be burnt, and pruning shears should be washed or dipped in alcohol.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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