Fungus in garden

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Old 08-27-20, 11:18 AM
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Fungus in garden

farely new to gardening. Third year. California high desert, zone 8b, 9a.
how do I get rid of fungus. We developed a fungus on our watermelon plants. Cut them all out, although i am seeing evidence of the fungus on bell peppers as well. Moving garden is not an option. I would like to know if there isxa treatment I can do during the winter months to kill the fungus before planting in spring.
 
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Old 08-27-20, 12:04 PM
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Next year choose mildew/fungus resistant plants. There are anti fungals for some fungus but there are fungus for which there is no treatment. The first step is to identify what fungus you have so you can pick the correct treatment. In the mean time I would remove the more infected parts of the plants and burn the trimmings or dispose of them far away from the garden. Also remove any dead material lying on the ground in the garden and stake & tie up or prune plants to get the leaves as far from the ground as possible.

For all my vine crops I drive stakes at an angle at each end of the row and run fencing between, angling the fence to best catch the sun. Then as the plants grow I train them up onto the fence, tying them in place if needed. Then when the plants are big enough I remove all leaves within about 12" of the ground so rain can't splash soil & disease up onto the lower leaves. Smaller things like zuchinni and squash can just be left to hang but larger watermellon should be supported. I have some vegetable hammocks intended for storing things that I rig to support big melons but you can use rags, netting or anything else you have lying around.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 06:59 AM
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Wow. I don't know if I have that kind of time. The fungus is black spots on leaves and vine.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 10:42 AM
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Dark gray or black spots on the leaves could be Anthracnose. Follow the recommendations about keeping the garden clean and the plant off the ground for good air flow. You can also try regular, heavy sprayings with neem oil or use a fungicide containing mancozeb. If you try a fungicide make sure you follow the label instructions.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 10:55 AM
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Ok. We are going to spead the mellons and squash farther apart. I will try to suspend the vines. I can't see suspending 15 pound squash or 25 pound watermelon. But will try. The ground here is very dry and we only drip in the root bed. I will try the proper fungacide.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 12:37 PM
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I live in rural NC. I used to be able to grow mellons without trouble until the farmer planted several fields of pumkins around my property. Now I have a terrible problem with melons, cucumbers, zucchini... and have to all the tricks just to keep disease under control. Not eradicated but at a low enough level that I get good harvest before the plant succumbs. The trouble is a lot of these type diseases (mold, fungus, virus) live in the soil so the more you can keep the plant away from the soil the better off it will be.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 04:46 PM
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That's what I was afraid of. I wonder if fungicide can be tilled into soil during the off season.
 
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Old 08-28-20, 05:55 PM
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Maybe look at these photos and see if its gummy stem blight or another disease.

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/...liar-diseases/
 
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Old 08-29-20, 06:16 AM
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Heat is the only soil treatment I'm aware of. If you can take your garden out of production for a 4-6 weeks you can cover the ground with plastic. Rake and clean the area to remove all leaves, stems, rocks and break up dirt clods to the surface is smooth. Water the area so the ground is wet. Then lay down your plastic getting it as close and smooth to the ground as you can. Hold the edges of the plastic down with soil or bricks. You want to seal the edges so it becomes a steamy furnace in the sun. I like to leave it at least several weeks to a month then till the ground, smooth, put the plastic back and bake it again.
 
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