We've all been there: you plant a few radishes, and by the time you can see their tips, they're wilted and brown. Or maybe some of your tomatoes have started to get some odd little white dots on them and turn black. It's enough to make you want to throw your hands up in the air and say, "I give up!" But don't worry! We're here to help.
When planting a vegetable garden, it's important to understand the dangers that crop diseases can pose. Here are some common diseases you're likely to encounter in your garden, along with some tips for preventing them.
This disease is characterized by a white powdery coating on the leaves and stems of plants. Fungal spores spread through the air and land on plants' leaves. Powdery mildew thrives in dry climates and warm temperatures, but it can be prevented by watering plants daily, especially during hot days. Additionally, try growing your vegetables in raised beds (like our very own Vego Garden Raised Garden Beds!) so they don't get too wet in the ground below them.
This disease causes wilting of leaves on plants' lower sides—and eventually kills them if not treated quickly enough! It's caused by a fungus that enters your soil via insects like ants (so make sure those critters aren't hanging around your garden!). To prevent it from happening, cover your soil with mulch or straw before planting new seeds or seedlings so there are no cracks for ants or other pests to enter your dirt!
Downy mildew is a fungal disease that usually appears in mid-to-late summer, and can be found on cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, radishes, and other cruciferous plants. The fungus grows on the underside of leaves and stems. Symptoms include white or gray patches on the upper surface of leaves that eventually become yellowish-brown and covered with spores. To prevent downy mildew, rotate your crops every year and maintain good air circulation to reduce leaf wetness.
Bacterial spot typically appears as reddish-brown spots on leaves and stems of tomato plants early in the growing season (usually late summer). This bacterial disease spreads rapidly through plant tissues so it’s important to get rid of it quickly! Bacterial spot thrives in warm and humid conditions, so, to prevent this not-so-fun guy (get it?!), keep your crops in a moderately cool climate.
White mold is caused by high humidity or water damage to leaves. If possible, try increasing airflow around your garden so that leaves drier. You can also remove affected leaves, as well as any plant debris that could be harboring fungal spores.
There’s nothing worse than losing a good crop because of a disease. By planning ahead and knowing how to protect your crops, you can help prepare your garden for a successful harvest! Make sure to keep your eyes peeled on our blog for more information on gardening tips and tricks. And as always, happy gardening!