The vegetable garden is a gardener's delight, providing a collection of beauty and edible vegetables. Successful gardens are carefully planned and rotated each year to ensure that the soil and its nutrients are healthy enough to accommodate the vigorous growth. Unbalanced nutrient levels, poor irrigation and improper maintenance, along with external factors such as birds and insects, can cause infection and the spread of diseases. When left untreated, these diseases will not only disfigure the vegetables, but they can also be fatal to the plant.
Black rot is a bacterial disease that is common among crucifers such as cabbage, cauliflower, collard, broccoli and turnip. The disease occurs in areas that are poorly drained and have long periods of standing water. Young and mature crucifers are susceptible. Infected vegetables will show an initial yellowing of foliage, followed by wilted and collapsed foliage that will turn brown and dry out. Treat crucifer seeds thoroughly with hot water prior to planting to prevent the disease. Ensure that vegetable beds are free from compacted soil, and take care to avoid over-watering.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
Bacterial leaf spot is a common disease of garden peppers. This disease causes water-soaked spots on the surface of the peppers. As the infection progresses, these water-soaked spots turn brown and harden. The foliage of the infected pepper plant will turn yellow and drop from the plant. Bacterial leaf spot is also common amongst tomato plants. Apply bactericides to prevent and reduce the rate of infection. Avoid planting peppers with tomatoes, eggplant or potatoes to reduce the potential for the spread of bacterial leaf spot, and rotate peppers every two years.
Phytophthora blight is chronic disease caused by a fungus that is common among peppers, melons, beans, tomatoes and squash. This fungal disease causes water-soaked foliage, lesions and girdling of foliage, stems and roots. The fruit of the pepper plant will develop a whitish, cotton-like fungal growth across its surface which will become wrinkled and brown. The eggplant will develop lesions and fruit rot. Tomatoes combine the symptoms of peppers and eggplant and develop lesions with water-soaked foliage and fruit rot. Like the tomato, the squash, watermelon, cucumber and zucchini show combined symptoms of the pepper and eggplant.