Just Look at Those Beans!
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If you were a gardener whose green beans just wouldn't come up to a good stand last season, the problem could have been due to fungus seedling disease. Seedling diseases often make their appearance following a period of rainy weather and cool soil temperature. These conditions encourage the growth of fungi which live in the soil and cause seedling disease in green beans and other vegetable crops.
One of the most common forms of green bean seedling disease is seed rot. Soil fungi, such as Rhizoctinia and Pythium, attack seed after planting and cause seed rot and poor stands. Occasionally the entire stand may be lost to seed rot seedling disease.
Rhizoctonia and Pythium fungi also attack young bean seedlings as they emerge, causing root and stem rot. 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 favors seedling disease, gardening practices can be adopted which will help reduce losses from this problem. Gardeners who want to avoid stand loss from seedling disease and get those extra-early green bean pickings will improve their chances by following these production tips.
Need more assistance on disease control in the garden? Check with us at your county Extension office.
Infobytes newsletter was written by the late Dr. Frank Killebrew, Extension Specialist.