10 Most Common Asparagus Diseases and How to Treat Them
I have never been successful in growing asparagus.
The first year I grew asparagus, I completely ignored traditional knowledge (and planting instructions) and chopped asparagus during the first growing season. Rookie mistake! You should not take asparagus crops for at least another year, and even then it should be done sparingly so that the plants take time to establish.
The following year, I recognized my mistake. I waited and waited and waited for the harvest…. And in the end was not cutting any asparagus because at this point I had built enough confidence to do so, the shoots were tough and woody.
This year is going to be my year. I felt so confident in the growing growth of my asparagus that I started some plants with seeds too – and they are doing very well. In preparation for my bumper crop, I did some preventive research about the most common asparagus diseases.
Here you need to know.
10 most common asparagus diseases
1. Purple blot
Purple smear is a disease that usually affects only asparagus plants, unlike many other diseases on this list that target all types of plants.
It is very easy to diagnose. Purple spots will develop on your spear, especially during wet or windy seasons. The good news is that the spots do not affect the taste or texture of your asparagus spears, and they often disappear completely during cooking.
The bad news is, if you are trying to sell your spears or otherwise only see how they look, the purple spots will detach from your overall look.
In addition, if left unclaimed, the spots may develop into complete wounds and grow together in large blobs, eventually killing the affected tissue and protecting the plants.
In most good, moist climates, purple spots can be prevented by following good field hygiene. Cut out last year’s ferns and remove any plants affected by the disease.
Jung is one of the most common asparagus diseases. It presents many symptoms depending on the season.
It first rips its ugly head in spring or early summer, appearing as small, bulging lesions that are usually light green.
Eventually, they change to a whiter or orange color and become more sunken. You may not notice them at first, but as they move, additional wounds will appear around the base of the stems.
Then, a name war develops. This is when the weather warms up in summer. The first set of wounds will burst, spreading spores into the air and infecting other plants. If you brush asparagus ferns and have your hands covered in red paint, you will know that it is for rust.
The problem does not go away as the weather cools, producing black overwintering spores that can weaken the stems the following spring. This can cause the entire plant to die back.
The easiest way to prevent rust is to cut back the fern after it dies in winter. Disposal of infected pieces. Although crop rot is not really possible with asparagus as it is a perennial plant, avoid planting new beds in the same general area as the old ones. You may have to use a fungicide to kill existing spores.
Of course, fungal spores are more likely to infect plants when they are moist with rain or dew. Planting in a location that is sunny and somewhat desolate can help the plants dry up.
3. Fusarium crown rot
Fusarium crown root is usually caused by one of three species of Fusarium fungi: Fusarium oxysporum f. SP. Asparagus, Fusarium proliferatum, And Fusarium moniliform.
This issue, also known simply as Fusarium disease, can cause yellowing, dry rot, wilting and eventually plant death. It is a soil-borne fungus that kills plants quickly after infecting them with reddish-brown sores. This usually causes the roots to rot quickly and die.
Unfortunately, this disease is difficult to prevent and get rid of. Crown rot can remain in the soil for a long time, which is spread by infected air, soil, and seeds.
Plants that are stressed are more likely to become infected, so it is necessary to maintain good cultural practices to avoid stressing their plants. You should also work to improve drainage so that there is no soil.
A simple way to prevent disease is to keep the area around the asparagus free of weeds – these fungi can irritate the spores and make it harder for you to get rid of the disease in the future.
Do not harvest your asparagus plants throughout the season, but rest them periodically so that you do not overstress them. It is also necessary to be consistent with fertilization and irrigation.
Blight, also known as Cracospora Blight, is caused by Sarcospora incompatibility Fungi. It causes brown or tan lesions on small branches of needles and plants with each wound surrounded by a red or brown border. These spores, like other fungal spores, are distributed by wind and rain.
As you might expect, the disease is more common during the wet season period. This can lead to poor photosynthesis and decreased plant yields. Over time, it can reduce the longevity of your plants.
To prevent staining, apply water in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry. Ensure that the plants are spread in rows at a distance of 6-feet so that air can move them between the plants to dry. You may have to get rid of infected plants, but some fungicides can be effective in getting rid of this disease.
5. Dead stem
Dead stem is a fungal plant pathogen that is closely related to the pathogens responsible for common root rot, stalk rot, ear light, and other diseases that can affect other plants such as asparagus and cereal grains.
Another soil borne fungus, the disease can be spread by infected seeds. It is necessary to use sterilized equipment, seeds, and growing supplies. There are many resistant cultivars for dead stems that you can re-grow, ensuring that the soil is healthy and that the disease is also cleared before planting.
6. Phytophthora Crown, Root and Spear Rot
This disease is also fungal, which is caused by the pathogen. Phytophthora asperagii. This is most common when the soil is wet and begins as soft, water-soaked wounds that begin on the plant just above the soil line. Infected plants often turn yellow, and you may find that crowns also die.
Crown, root, and spear rot, left untreated, can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your plants.
The disease is best prevented by avoiding planting in wet areas. You can also apply fungicide to get rid of it.
7. Water Soft Bread
The good news is that this asparagus disease is relatively uncommon. This results from watery-looking sores on your plants that eventually grow to look like white mold. Rigid dark growth may occur in advanced stages of the disease.
The disease is often confused with Fusarium rot – it is only when mold develops that you can actually tell the difference. It often spreads from plant to plant and is more likely to affect plants that have been injured in any way. Avoid harvesting your plants and use sterile equipment when doing so. Again, it is ideal to maintain proper water and soil conditions.
8. Asparagus Mosaic Virus
There are some viral diseases in which asparagus is at risk, but asparagus mosaic virus is one of them. The disease often goes unnoticed with very few visible symptoms. However, it can dramatically reduce your yield and your plants are more likely to suffer from other diseases.
Sometimes the virus will also cause a “mosaic” pattern of light and dark green thinning on the plant.
Removing infected plants can help, as plants can be moved to new locations if the virus is detected in the original planting location. The virus can sometimes be seed-borne, so make sure you are using certified seed stock to start your plants. Pests like aphids can also spread it, so you have to control pests in your garden as well.
This virus can overwinter on your plants to clean the garden after every growing season and keep weeds under control.
9. Zophia Root Rot
Zophia root rot is an asparagus-specific disease that can cause root rot if plants are injured or weakened. It spreads slowly in the rhizome at first, but then moves rapidly to the roots, forming dark caners.
Again, the disease can be difficult to treat and prevent, but following good water and ventilation practices can help keep it at bay.
10. Gray Mold Shoot Blight
Gray mold shoot blight, often referred to as gray mold, is caused by a fungal name Botrytis cinerea. It affects many types of plants other than asparagus, such as strawberries and wine grapes.
The most obvious sign of an infusion is the development of gray mass and rot. It is most common in soils with wet, moist conditions and low pH. Spreading water causes the spores to spread and due to the disease it becomes possible to stay in the soil for a long time.
Avoid closing your asparagus plants together and water them first in the morning so that the plants have time to dry at night. Ventilation and airflow are important in preventing this disease. You should also avoid fertilization with extra nitrogen, as it can increase the incidence of the disease.
Finally, be sure to harvest asparagus every year (after the first year, of course). There is evidence that regular pruning and deliberate removal of bits of plants can help keep the disease at bay. There are some fungicides you can use, too, but many strains of this fungus are resistant, so you have to use them sparingly.
How to prevent asparagus diseases
When it comes to preventing and treating asparagus diseases, it is important to act quickly and often. Proper amount of water and adequate air circulation is doubly important to ensure that your plants do not suffer from any fatal diseases.
Even if you take all the appropriate preventive measures, however, it is still possible that your plants should suffer at some stage in their lives. After all, asparagus plants live long enough – many decades, in some cases – so some difficulty is unavoidable.
Then, it is necessary to treat your plants early. There are various fungicides that you can use to control many fungal diseases.
Otherwise, follow the suggestions above to prevent and treat each disease and you will be able to enjoy a plentiful harvest of delicious, tender shoots for years to come.
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