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County Gardeners Extension Express

Vegetables: Diseases

Garden vegetables can be attacked by a wide range of fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes. Since no single control measure is effective against all diseases caused bythese microscopic pests, gardeners must rely on a well-balanced defense to keep diseases in check.

One of the first steps in setting up a disease control program is correct identification of disease problems—the earlier the better. With quick action, you can control leaf spots, blights and mildews within the same season. Other disease problems may not be treatable this season, but correct disease identification allows you to take preventive disease control measures next year.

Many garden vegetable diseases are easy to identify. Others may need the advice of someone more experienced, such as an Extension agent or plant pathologist. Disease is best identified on plants that are less than 50 percent damaged. Do not use dead plants.

If the Extension agent is unable to identify the disease, he or she can have a plant pathologist diagnose the diseased specimen for a fee of $10.00. The pathologist at Mississippi State will identify the disease and send you a report on how to control and prevent the disease.

Additional information on diseases and nematodes that attack garden vegetables is available at your county Extension office.

Diseases take their toll in Mississippi gardens every year, but adequate planning and following recommended disease controls will keep losses to a minimum.

For disability accommodation, please contact Eddie Smith.

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Portrait of Dr. Eddie Miles Louis Smith
Extension Agent IV*
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Extension Agent II*
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Extension Agent III*