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Pre-plant and planting tips on minimizing root diseasesRoot diseases can lead to considerable losses in crops, increased fungicide applications and reduced crop quality. There are several useful tips that, when followed, will help improve the growing environment to reduce potential root disease outbreaks.
By following these tips below, not only will there be fewer root disease issues, but a better growing environment will contribute to improved crop quality.
- Remove all plant debris, weeds and growing medium from the greenhouse as they harbor root diseases.
- If possible, cover soil floors with landscape fabric or concrete to minimize fungal spore movement from the soil into the greenhouse environment.
- Disinfect tools that come in contact with plants.
- Disinfect potting benches, potting machines and flat fillers to kill disease inoculum.
- Avoid reusing pots. If they must be reused, soak in a product containing quaternary ammonium, hydrogen dioxide, hydrogen peroxide or peroxyacetic acid compounds, or use bleach to kill pathogens. Remove all growing medium from the pots first and soak for at least 30 minutes or as the label instructs. Change the solution often.
- Discard old plants that did not sell as they may harbor root disease pathogens.
- Verify that stock plants are disease-free before introducing a new crop into the greenhouse.
- Do not reuse the growing medium as it may be contaminated, which could explain why some plants looked poor and did not sell.
Publication date: 1/10/2017
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