Vegetable Disease Update – September 16, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

Lima bean downy mildew was found by a CCA and confirmed on Wednesday from a field of ‘C-elite’ near Galena, MD. Growers need to be scouting carefully and applying fungicides as needed. If seen in the field apply either Ridomil Gold/Copper 2.0 lbs/A or ProPhyt (3.0 pts/A). See the 2011 Delaware Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations for other fungicide choices as well as last week’s WCU for more detailed information.

Basil downy mildew was found in New Castle County this week. Any specialty crops growers might want to protect basil with one of the phosphorus acid products, such a ProPhyt, at this time.

Powdery and downy mildew are widespread in cucurbits especially pumpkins and winter squash at this time. Maintain fungicide programs until fruit develop fully.

Unfortunately Phytophthora fruit rot is very prevalent on a number of cucurbits especially pumpkin at this time. The excessive rainfall just made a bad problem worse. A few growers have asked about dipping fruit in a 5-10% bleach solution or using Zerotol to prevent fruit rot. My experience has been that is not effective if the fruit are infected in the field. You may get reduced spread in a bin but it will not control Phytophthora fruit rot.

There were a few reports of late blight in New York and Connecticut this week, but nothing in the Mid-Atlantic to worry tomato growers so far. To track the progress of late blight in the US you can go to