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White Mold potato disease

(Sclerotinia sclerotiorum)
White mold disease affects potato mainly in the cool tropics and temperate zones. But it causes major damage to potato when the rotation includes susceptible vegetable crops (beans, lettuce, tomato, celery, cauliflower, cabbage). It is favoured by cool, moist weather.

Symptoms of White mold

Stem lesions develop at the soil line or near leaf axils and are slightly sunken, oval, or elongated, extending up the stem. Initially, lesions are water-soaked, later becoming tan colored, white at the center, and ringed or zonate.

white-moldAffected stems are covered with a white mycelial mat.
The central pith is destroyed and the hollow becomes filled with white mycelium that later forms hard, black, 0.5 to 1.0-cmlong sclerotia.
Tops may wilt and stalks split or break at the soil surface.
Potato tubers near the soil surface become shrunken, superficially blackened, and watery.
Cavities lined with black dead tissue later fill with white mycelium and sclerotia.

Sclerotia germinate, forming mycelial mats or small, fleshy, cup-shaped mushrooms from which air-borne spores disseminate and infect the leaves and stems of many dicotyledonous crops and weeds.


The long-lived sclerotia can be killed by flooding for about 5 weeks. Rotations with non susceptible crops, including potato only every third year, along with removal and destruction of infected plants, help reduce this disease while potatoes growing. Avoid overhead irrigation.

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Powdery Mildew Potato disease

Powdery mildew, a Biotrophic Fungus
Image via Wikipedia

(Erysiphe cichoracearum)

Powdery mildew is widely distributed on many host plants and develops  also on potato under arid conditions with high humidity.

Symptoms of Powdery Mildew

Old infections superficially resemble late blight as leaves turn black, die, and drop from the plant. Stems may also be infected. Initially, infected potato leaves are covered with whitish spore masses resembling soil residues, dust, or spray deposits.
The disease requires high humidity, but seldom develops where water falls on the leaves as rain or sprinkler irrigation.


Where the disease is severe, biweekly applications of liquid sulfur formulations may be necessary.

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Pink Rot Potato disease

(Phytophthora erythroseptica )

Pink rot is most severe occurs while growing potatoes at soil temperatures of more than 20°C in water-logged soils. It is generally not a major problem.

Symptoms of Pink Rot

Although the disease may cause a wilt with stem decay and potatoes leaf chlorosis, usually only tubers have symptoms of dark brown, water-soaked discoloration and sometimes a rubbery texture.
The colour change of cut potato tuber surfaces is characteristic. Within 5 to 20 minutes, these turn from a nearly normal colour to pink and later to black.

The rot is accompanied by a faint vinegar-like smell. Small lesions at harvest may go undetected but grow during storage, although the disease does not spread in potatoes storage.


This soil- and seed-borne disease is enhanced by excessively wet soil conditions and is controlled by improving drainage.

The potatoes disease can be eliminated by fumigating infested soil, complemented with metalaxyl 5G at planting time and the use of healthy potato seed tubers.

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