The Demise of Piglet’s Veggie Plot

I want to scream, stamp my foot in anger, have a mardy and then curl up into the fetal position and have a good cry. I’m normally a positive person and if I don’t succeed I keep trying until I do. For example you may recall when I discovered roots from nearby trees and hedges invaded my raised veggie patch (Piglet’s plot) I dug out all the soil (with Mr Piglet’s help), removed all the roots , lined the bed with a breathable root barrier and then replaced the soil.

Just as I think I'm winning!

Just as I think I'm winning!

However, nature and the elements have finally conspired against me. Yesterday, while pottering and weeding I noticed there was something wrong with one of the cabbages. On closer inspection I discovered the inside of the cabbage had rotted and was covered in a white mold. Some of the lettuces were also affected and were in a right sorry state.

Is this Sclerotinia rot/ White Mold?

Is this Sclerotinia rot/ White Mold?

After removing all the affected plants I scoured the internet for clues.
I think it could be Sclerotinia Rot or White Cabbage Mold If so, I don’t think I will be able to grow any new plants for the rest of the season. Basically, if I’ve understood correctly, you can’t treat the fungus once the soil is contaminated.

Bwah Bwah!

Any suggestions gratefully received!

Related Posts:
I’m being invaded…
Zucchini – I give up!

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44 responses to “The Demise of Piglet’s Veggie Plot

  1. PiP, that certainly is bad news…I hope you will find a way around this bump in the garden.

    Like

  2. Oh No! So sorry to hear of your veggietastrophe Pip. I wish I had good advice to give but I’ve never encountered this problem in my garden. If your diagnosis is correct your link suggests:

    Rotate with no-till non-host crops (corn,
    wheat, and sorghum) to induce germination
    of sclerotia and greatly reduce amount of
    viable sclerotia left in the soil.
    • Avoid using susceptible annual legumes as
    cover crops.
    • Control broadleaf weeds.
    • Promote air circulation by increasing row
    spacing.
    • Maintain proper nitrogen fertilization.
    • Irrigate early in the morning and stop all
    irrigation by midday. This irrigation cut off
    allows the foliage to dry (less than 16 hours
    of leaf wetness) reducing disease incidence.

    I would try sowing different crops to see what isn’t susceptible.
    Not peas or beans.
    Good luck

    Like

    • Hi H,
      “corn, wheat, and sorghum to induce germination
      of sclerotia and greatly reduce amount of
      viable sclerotia left in the soil”
      I know, but I don’t even know where I would get a small amount of seed. Bwah, Bwah, As for not growing non-annual legumes these are all the plants I want to grow! I need to research this fiurther me thinks because the linkreally refers to farming…
      Perhaps there is a way I can disinfect the soil. I may even have to treat it in a non organic way 🙂

      Loved your “veggietastrophe” it did make me smile.

      Like

  3. Oh PiP, this is terrible news, and I really feel for you; I know how much you love your veggie patch and how much work you have put into it. It’s heartbreaking.
    I hope you can find a way round it, otherwise you wont be doing much planting for the rest of the year it seems.

    Like

  4. Sorry! The plants looked so wonderful too in your earlier article.

    I have no help for you, but I did RT your cry for help.

    Like

  5. What rotten luck. My gardening book implies that you can grow other plant groups (but not brassicas until the year after next). I will post a question on Twitter and see what the experts think. Don’t panic – there is always a solution.

    Like

  6. Sorry to know. The only help I can give you to tell you that a national exhibition of Horticulture and Fruit is going to be held this month at Batalha (it’s far I know) together with Expojardim. Frutitec/Hortitec, Venue: Exposalão Exhibition Center, Batalha. Date: March 15 – 18 from 10am till 8pm, entrance 3,5€. http://www.exposalao.pt/?lang=en

    Like

  7. Sorry to hear that. Try digging it over, watering it, then cover it with thick plastic or black bags, held down firmly with stones, etc…leave it for about a month and don’t touch it and then uncover it, hopefully the sun will have done the trick and cleansed the soil, but you probably need then to put some comfrey or other organic fertiliser in to put some goodness back in. We do this every year before planting again, it is called sun sterilisation or something like that, I got the tip from a friend who lives in Texas, it seems to work 🙂 Worth a try. Good Luck!

    Like

  8. I have no idea what a “mardy” is, but I think I’d have one too. You have worked so hard and I’m sorry to hear this news. I hope that one of your gardener-readers will be able to give you some good advice. All I can offer is sympathy.

    Like

    • Hi Rose, a mardy is like a tandrum or a hissy fit. I bleive it’s a northern UK expression 🙂
      Your sympathy is cool. I feel so sad at the moment because my veggie patch was my release. Feel quite tearful about it. It’s like telling a writer she can’t write anything for xx amount of time

      Like

  9. Great post my friend very interesting 🙂

    Like

  10. That looks terrible! I’ve never seen anything like it. My mother was very good at growing vegetables, not me. It could be the result of too much water, poor drainage and an enclosed veg patch. Have you asked your neighbours if they’re having the same problem?

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    • Hi Mara,
      None of my immediate neighbours don’t grow veg 😦 and the people I have asked ahve never had a problem
      I think the problem may have been imported with some processed manure.
      I feel so sad when I read everyones comments…

      Like

  11. Aww . . . poor PiP!

    I’ve been having rotten luck with my tomato plants . . . miserable yields, ugly plants, mishapen tomatoes, etc. But I don’t have nearly as much invested in my container garden.

    It’s a wonder we don’t all starve to death with all the things that can go wrong during food production.

    Like

  12. The information I found on Twitter is not good news, I’m afraid, but here it is:
    Remove and destroy infected plants, dont grow susceptible plants for 3 years. This includes:
    beans celery chicory cucumber jerusalem artichokes lettuce peas spuds toms campanula chrysanths under glass convalarias dahlias delphiniums gypsophila helianthus lupins and sweet peas.
    As I said, not good news. Whatever you try good luck.
    Gillian

    Like

    • Hi Gillian,
      Thanks so much for your efforts on Twitter; I really appreciate it. The list includes everything I want to grow 😦 BWAH!
      A couple of people have suggested sterilising the soil using black plastic. I ahve nothing to lose, so once existing veg have gone, I will try this method.

      Like

  13. Dear Piglet, We have had this trouble here at a nearby farm. Your best bet it to try to ‘sterilize’ the soil with the black plastic method, leave the plastic on for 3 weeks, then turn the soil, replace the black plastic, and keep doing this for 8 to 12 weeks. You will need to add organic fertilizer to your soil when done. Then plant a few seeds and see what happens. If you still get the fungus showing up you must replace the soil. The fungus likely came in on plants purchased at a market center or old seed. So sorry to hear of your troubles. Katrina

    Like

  14. What terrible bad luck PiP. It looks quite evil. Nature is really testing you! But don’t give in. Try the tips posted to you and good luck.
    Clara

    Like

  15. Oh dear. I’m so sorry. All your hard work!

    Like

  16. Oh no – what a total nightmare for you. Sorry am unable to post anything more practically useful than this but it is heartfelt sympathy. I do hope the black plastic trick mentioned above works out for you and keep us posted on your progress.

    Like

  17. Oh, what a pity, your plants looked wonderful. What could have brought that white mold on? Gardening is a bit of hit and miss (for me at least). Best of luck, hope you find a solution.

    Like

  18. Well horse-feathers! 😦 Bless your heart. Your garden was growing so well. This is a shame. I wish I new something to suggest, but unfortunately I’m at a loss. I agree that this may have something to do with zucchini problems last year. I hope you can find a solution soon, this is just so disheartening. ((((hugs))))

    Like

  19. Awwww PiP, I’m so sorry. I know you always work so hard on your veggie plot. I don’t blame you for wanting to have what my momma used to call a hissy fit. I hope you find a solution soon.

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  20. Hello PiP,
    So sorry I didn’t comment sooner…I saw the title of your post and saved it because I knew you would need on-going sympathy. 🙂
    I don’t think I can add anything to the other comments…I do know that many veggies shouldn’t be grown in the same plot year after year.
    Can you do container gardening? Or raised bed gardening?
    It’s so sad, because your garden looked AMAZING! Back in Connecticut, I also had trouble with the squash family of veggies…everything would look great…and then the stems would rot…yuck!

    Like

    • thanks Vivian and your support,
      This is in a raised plot and my first crop after the root problem I had at the end of last year. It’s strange the problems veggies present us with.

      I think there must be a moral in this saga for children somewhere…
      Perhaps, if you have a problem try and resolve it by looking at it from perspectives and if you don’t succeed keep trying.

      Like

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  25. Oh dear, dear! It did recover though right? 🙂

    Like

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