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Archive for the ‘Fusarium Dry Rot and Wilt’ Category

Epsom Salt for Tomato

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
State fruit - Tomato

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Tomatoes are one of  popular vegetables home gardeners grow. The satisfaction of planting and watching the fast growing tomato plants generate their red or yellow fruits can only be rivaled by the taste of a home grown tomato.

There are several points that a gardener has to be vigilant about regarding growing healthy tomato plants, and one of those is blossom end rot, which strikes just prior to the maturation of the tomatoes. Quite a disappointment for the gardener who has tended the tomato plants for weeks and greatly anticipated eating the fruits of his labor. Blossom end rot can be prevented, even stopped after it has already begun to attack a tomato plant, with several applications of Epsom salt.

What Cautilizes Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is cautilized by a lack of calcium in the garden soil. The calcium deficient soil is just not able to bring the tomatoes to the ripe stage before the fruit rots. Blossom end rot starts out as a small dark circle on the tomato’s blossom end and will stretch through the green or partially ripe tomato.

Prevent Blossom End Rot

To prevent blossom end rot, work Epsom salt into the garden soil before planting tomatoes. Apply one pound of Epsom salt to the standard sized raised bed garden (four feet by six-eight feet) or one cup of Epsom salt per container that tomatoes will be grown in and work into the soil well with a spade or tiller. The Epsom salt will then be a readily offered source of calcium and magnesium for the tomato plant.

Epsom salt as well promotes root growth and development for all garden vegetables and flowers and should be worked into the soil along with organic matter at the beginning of spring. A side dressing of Epsom salt or watering gardening vegetables with a combination of ½ cup of Epsom salt dissolved in one gallon of water a couple of times during the growing season will keep plants healthy and growing vigorously. When applying dry Epsom salt as a side dressing, be careful not to allow the Epsom salt to touch any part of the plant.

Stopping Blossom End Rot Once It Starts

If blossom end rot strikes tomato plants, it can be stopped and the plant can go on to generate healthy tomatoes. At the first sign of blossom end rot, remove all affected tomatoes from the plant and discard. Begin watering the tomato plant with an Epsom salt combination once per week. Dissolve ½ cup of Epsom salt into a gallon of water and slowly pour the entire gallon around the base of the tomato plant. The Epsom salt combination will go directly to the plant roots and be absorbed by the plant and stop future developing tomatoes from being afflicted by blossom end rot.

Tomato blossom end rot can be prevented or stopped after it has begun with an application of good old Epsom salt.

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Minimization of risk Fusarium dry rot

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Fusarium dry rot is one of the most essential diseases of potato. It affects tubers in storage and seed pieces after planting. Fusarium dry rot of seed tubers can lessen crop establishment by killing developing potato sprouts.


The first symptoms of Fusarium dry rot are typically dark depressions on the surface of the tuber. In large lesions, the skin becomes wrinkled in concentric rings as the underlying dead tissue desiccates. Internal symptoms are characterized by necrotic areas shaded from light to dark chocolate brown or black.
This necrotic tissue is frequently dry (hence the name “dry rot”) and may increase at an injury such as a cut or bruise. The pathogen enters the tuber, often rotting out the center. Rotted cavities are often lined with mycelia and spores of various colors from yellow to white to pink depending on the species of the pathogen (several species of Fusarium cause dry rot).

Dry rot diagnosis may be complicated by the presence of other tuber pathogens. Soft rot bacteria
(Pectobacterium spp.) often colonize dry rot lesions, especially when tubers have been stored under conditions of high relative humidity or tuber surfaces are wet.

Soft rot bacteria cause a wet, slimy rot, which can rapidly engross the entire tuber and mask the initial dry rot symptoms. Dry rot also causes sprout death and when estimating the frequency of infected tubers growers should carefully examine the eyes (sprouts) to check if they are viable.

Measures to minimize contamination of Fusarium dry rot

Some level of Fusarium dry rot is almost constantly present in commercially available seed. Undergo the following procedures will help prevent dry rot:

  • Always plant only certified seed. It is critical to purchase seed with as little dry rot as possible, so always inspect seed carefully upon receipt.
  • After careful unloading, seed should be stored at 40° to 42°F and 85 to 90 percent relative humidity, and kept ventilated.
  • Warm seed tubers to at least 50°F before handling and cutting to reduce injury and promote rapid healing.
  • Sanitary and disinfect seed storage facilities systematically before receiving seed.
  • Disinfect seed cutting and handling equipment often, and make sure cutters are sharp to ensure a smooth cut that heals easily.
  • Do not store seed near a potential source of inoculum (e.g., cull piles).
  • Prior to seed treating (on conveyer to seed treatment hopper), grade out (remove) heavily infected tubers.
  • Treat cut seed with a seed treatment to control seed piece decay and sprout rot
  • Plant infected seed lots seed shallow (about 4”) in warm, well-drained soil to encourage rapid sprout growth and emergence, and lessen the chance for infection.
  • After emergence, plaints can be hilled to establish required bed depth.
  • In the fall, harvest tubers after their skins have set and when their core temperature is greater than 50°F.

Chemical control

Seed treatment
Several products have been produced specifically for control of seed borne potato diseases and offer broad spectrum control for Fusarium dry rot, Rhizoctonia, silver scurf and, to some extent, black dot These include Tops MZ, Maxim MZ (and other Maxim formulations + mancozeb) and Moncoat MZ.

The general impact of these seed treatments is marked by improved plant stand and crop vigor, but occasionally, application of seed treatments in combination with cold and wet soils can result in delayed emergence. The delay is generally transient, and the crop normally compensates.

The additional benefit of the inclusion of mancozeb is for prevention of seed-borne late blight.
Studies at MSU have shown that the most effective control of Fusarium dry rot is achieved by the application of an effective fungicide, such as fludioxinil (Maxim-based products), prior to planting.

Treatment of infected seed pieces with Maxim MZ (0.5 lb/cwt) at 10, 5 or 2 days before planting significantly reduced the percentage of diseased sprouts per tuber and significantly reduced seed piece decay.

Although it may not seem cost-effective to apply seed treatments to healthy seed, these results suggest that applying a seed treatment up to 10 days prior to planting can provide effective control of dry rot and increase rate of emergence, rate of canopy closure and final plant stand.

Postharvest fungicides
Mertect, thiabendazole remains registered for postharvest use on tubers. Few alternative compounds are available for potato tuber treatment in storage but include chlorine-based disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide. Limited information is available on the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide on potato storage pathogens, and results of some studies have suggested that chlorine dioxide does not provide effective tuber protection against Fusarium dry rot.

Some biological products have suppressed Fusarium dry rot in storage and include Serenade that is registered for foliar application to potatoes in the field.

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Fusarium Dry Rot and Wilt

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

(Fusarium spp.)

Different Fusarium species distributed worldwide cause various problems. Warm temperatures favours this disease.

Symptoms of Fusarium Dry Rot and Wilt

Dormant Oil & Lime Sulfur
Dry rot is one of the most serious potatoes storage problems. Tubers initially have dark, slightly sunken lesions that later expand superficially, leaving internal cavities that may contain different colour mycelia, depending on the species involved.
The margin of the rot is clearly defined.
Concentric rings appear on the potatoes tubers surface and external mycelium is evident.
Potatoes tuber dries and hardens.
Under humid conditions, secondary soft rot develops. Infection originates in surface fusaruim-dry- rot-wiltwounds during harvest and handling.
It can be reduced by initial curing at about 15°C and 95% relative humidity to promote wound suberization, prior to cold storage.
Improperly suberized cut seed decays under adverse soil conditions.
Potato plants may fail to emerge, or be weak and subsequently wilt and die.
Fusarium wilt fungi are soil-borne.
Symptoms are yellowing of lower leaves, chlorotic mottle of upper leaves, and subsequent wilting.
Vascular tissues of stems and tubers become discolored.
Potatoes tubers show several types of internal and external discoloration such as brown sunken necrosis at the stolon attachment or eyes, and circular brown rotted areas.
Warm weather enhances wilt. Some Fusarium strains become systemic and are seed transmitted.


Use disease-free potatoes seed, good water management, and crop rotation. Treat cut seed with chemical protectants.

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