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Dodging an un-fun guy
Whether it’s Fusarium and Pythium lurking in your soil, or powdery mildew and late blight blowing in on the wind, pathogenic fungi can cause poor germination, stunted growth, reduced yields, inferior eating quality, cosmetic blemishes, poor storability, and melancholy.
Organic growers have a number of strategies for preventing or treating outbreaks of fungal disease. For economy, efficacy and environmental safety, it helps to understand your options.
First try to manage fungal problems without reaching for pesticides:
If you’ve been hammered by Botrytis a couple years running, or if your extension office is reporting late blight in your area, it may be time for a sharper weapon. Many organic fungicides work best as preventive treatments—timely applications will prevent a problem, but by the time you see the first slimy leaves it’s too late. These products are more environmentally friendly than control treatments:
Control Treatments—the last resort
The pumpkin leaves are crumpling and the dreaded “water-soaked lesions” of late blight have appeared on the potatoes—quick, do something! (Or throw in the towel and take a vacation.)
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