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Beet Diseases and Problems

beets-diseases

Beet Curly Top

Characteristics: Leaves turn yellow and stop growing, upper leaves turn crusty and turn purple. Underside of veins are swollen and bumpy. Roots may become stunted and exhibit black rings.

Cause: Virus which is transmitted from plant to plant by the leafhopper.  The disease can be transmitted after only a few minutes of feeding and can persist for months.

Solution: Plants infected with the virus cannot be treated and should be removed and destroyed.

Manage leafhoppers with good garden sanitation.  Keep the garden and perimeter weed free to discourage overwintering.  At the end of the season, clear all garden debris and destroy.

Insecticides to manage leafhoppers may be necessary in extreme cases.

 

Cersospora Leaf Spot

Characteristics: The disease appears as circular spots on vegetation that present as tan lesions with borders of brown to purple.  As the disease progresses, the lesions expand into one another.

Cause: Cercospora leaf spot is caused by the fungus cercospora beticola. Spores are carried from infected to healthy plants manually, and by wind and water. Seeds can also be infected. The disease is spread under favorable conditions with warm temperatures and high humidity.

Solution: Plant disease-free seeds, control watering and avoid working with the plants while wet to avoid spread of the disease. Remove and destroy infected plants after harvest as the fungi can live in plant matter in the soil.

Good garden sanitation will help to prevent spread of the disease.

Rhizoctonia Crown and Root Rot

Characteristics: Greens will suddenly wilt and collapse.  Roots that are infected will present with black lesions that as they grow will cause the root to appear rotted in spots.

Cause: Bacterial canker is caused by the soil-borne fungus Rhizoctonia solani. Most common under favorable conditions when temperatures are warm and humidity is high.  The fungus grows in the soil and infects the roots of plants.

Solution:  Avoid working in the garden when plants are wet to discourage spread of the disease. Remove and destroy infected plants after harvest as the bacteria can live in plant matter in the soil.

Practice crop rotation in gardens that have been previously infected.

Plant beets during cool weather.  Seeds may be prone to the disease if planted in warmer soils.

When cultivating around beets plants, be careful not to cover the beet tops as they emerge with soil.

Use ground laid drip irrigation to help discourage spread of the fungus by water droplets to other plants.

The disease proliferates in soil that is water logged. Plant seeds in well-drained soil.

If problem persists, fungicides may become necessary.

Rhizomania

Characteristics: The first signs of the disease include wilting and yellowing of the foliage.  When infecting the roots, the beet will grow offshoots causing it to appear spiky rather than smooth.  Will cause the root to become distorted.

Cause: Rhizomania is caused by the soil-borne fungus Polymyxa betae. It proliferates in water-logged soils and is easily spread

Solution: The primary method of avoiding Rhizonmania is to purchase disease resistant varieties.

Avoid working in the garden when plants are wet to discourage spread of the disease. Remove and destroy infected plants after harvest as the bacteria can live in plant matter in the soil.

Practice crop rotation in gardens that have been previously infected.

Plant beets during cool weather.  Seeds may be prone to the disease if planted in warmer soils.

When cultivating around beets plants, be careful not to cover the beet tops as they emerge with soil.

Use ground laid drip irrigation to help discourage spread of the fungus by water droplets to other plants.

The disease proliferates in soil that is water logged. Plant seeds in well-drained soil.

If problem persists, fungicides may become necessary.

Resources

“Curly Top.” University of California Agricultural & Natural Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r735100411.html>.

“Disease Problems – Cercospora Leaf Spot.” : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://www.clemson.edu/extension/horticulture/landscape_ornamentals/crapemyrtle/culture/disease_problems_cercospora_leaf_spot.html>.

“RHIZOMANIA.” RHIZOMANIA. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/sugarbeet/Disease/rhizartcl.htm>.

“Rhizoctonia.” Plant Diseases (Penn State Extension). N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://extension.psu.edu/pests/plant-diseases/all-fact-sheets/rhizoctonia>.

“Sugar Beet Diseases.” Beet Curly Top. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://pdc.unl.edu/specialtycrops/sugarbeet/curlytop>.

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