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Get rid of Plant Fungus from the Garden

Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Fungus

Image by elycefeliz via Flickr

Garden fungus can ruin any crop, but it does not have to.  Preventing fungus diseases before they destroy your crop is essential, and proper garden management may keep chemical fungicide off consumables.

The number one fungicide is developing a disease resistant garden. Garden location, right composting and garden management and occasional use of pesticide treatments all aide in the ability of a garden to ward off pests and disease. Proper care for a garden will result in healthy plants, excellent crop production and future soil health.

Garden Location

Beckerman recommends placing a garden in a sunny well-drained area. Too much shade encourages the growth of fungus. Stagnant water also promotes fungal infection in plants. Locating a garden in the highest point available with the least tree cover will help any garden resist fungi and various other diseases.

Composting

Composting is another suggestion from garden experts. Mixing natural organic matter in soil promotes the development of soil microbes necessary to combat fungus advancement. Healthy soil promotes healthy plants, and healthy plants generate their own fungicide in the form of healthy immune systems ready to fight off infection.
Proper Garden Management

Proper garden management is another excellent fungicide. Experts recommend watering in early morning so plants dry quickly and never working in the garden when plants are wet. Overnight wet plants promote the spread of infection. Working on wet plants promotes the spread of bacteria, nematodes and fungus. Experts also suggest using only enough fertilizer to meet plant needs, as over-fertilization–especially nitrogen rich fertilizers-will promote fungal infection.

Organic Fungicides

When all else fails, experts suggest, “reaching for the chemicals.” Some vegetable garden fungicides are available that meet organic specifications, and those persons wishing to remain chemical free will want to start with them. Fungicides with the active ingredients Copper or Sulfur are approved for organic production, according to Beckerman. These fungicides will not leave a residue on the vegetables or penetrate the plant and build up harmful levels of toxins. Experts warn that improper diagnosis of a fungus or improper use of a fungicide may result in treatment failure.

Chemical Fungicides

If no other option works to treat the infection of a vegetable garden, chemical fungicides might work. Chemical fungicides may leave harmful residues in or on vegetable garden contents. Experts list fungicides with the active ingredients chlorothalonil, Captan, Mancozeb and Maneb as garden fungicides not approved for organic gardening.

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