Avoid Seedling Disease for Extra-Early Green Beans
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If you were a gardener who had difficulty getting a stand of green beans last spring, the problem could have been caused by fungus seedling disease. Seedling diseases often make their appearance if the weather turns wet and cool following planting, since these conditions encourage the growth of soil fungi which rot seeds or kill young bean seedlings.
One of the most common forms of green bean seedling disease is seed rot. Soil fungi, such as Rhizoctonia and Pythium, attack seed after planting and cause seed rot and poor stands. Or, these fungi attack young seedlings as they emerge, causing root and stem rots. Bean seedlings affected by root and stem rots are usually stunted, show top dieback, and produce poor yields.
While gardeners can't control the weather which favor seedling diseases, they can adopt control practices which will help keep these problems to a minimum. The green bean season is still a ways off, but gardeners who want an extra-early picking should map out a disease management program and be ready when planting time does arrive.
The best approach to green bean seedling disease control is to use a combination of management approaches which should begin at planting time. The following tips will improve chances for an early harvest.
Need more assistance on early-season gardening? Check with us at your county Extension office.
Infobytes newsletter was written by the late Dr. Frank Killebrew, Extension Specialist.