Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Plant pathology:Black rot on cruciferous vegetables

Tattered and papery leaves on cauliflower caused by the bacterial disease 
Xanthomonas campestris
This is a fairly common disease and is spread by dirty water splashing on the leaves from a nearby path or by insects as they move from plant to plant. It is more serious on seedlings as the entire plant may wilt and die especially if they are planted too close together. As it may be bought in to a garden on diseased seed it is important to buy seed from a reliable source. On older plants such as this one, it is first noticed on the edge of the leaves where bacteria can gain entry more easily. Crop rotation is an important part of disease control as well as the removal of related weeds such as wild radish and shepherd's purse. All infected leaves should be removed after harvest and not put into compost.

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