Thursday, June 12, 2014

Downy Mildew Is Present

Unfortunately, the reality of growing hops in the East means that there will be a good chance of those plants getting devastating disease problems.  Here at the farm, we definitely have downy mildew and some root fungus problems that are killing my plants after 8 years.

I will have to start treatments as soon as possible and get rid of all signs of the disease.  Also, I will not be able to plant any more hops in the area where my root disease problems are.

Most of these problems were accelerated from last years six and one half feet of rain!  Hops hate "wet feet" and I had plenty of water here last year.  In fact, in the month of July 2013, we had 14 inches of rain during the first 14 days of that month.  50 of my blueberry plants also suffered a root fungus death that cannot be cured. 

Note in the photo's below what these problems look like.  Just bear in mind that the best practices are to use drip irrigation, have raised beds, and stay on top of your pruning and weeding.  The bottom line is that your production and plant growth will be severely affected, and if not taking care of, will kill your plants.
Downy mildew "spike"
 Note the small leaves and short space between the leaves on the vine, this one indicator of the presence of downy mildew.  It is important to get rid of these as soon as you find them and to keep your tools clean between working on different plants.
Blueberry rows showing lack of plants and stunted plants
The above picture shows the areas affected by the root fungus from the mycelium of a puffball mushroom that will kill the root system of the blueberry plants.  There is no cure and the area can't be used to plant in again.

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