You name it, my fruit and vegetables probably have caught/will catch it. I was a sickly child and my fruit and veg seem to be following in the family tradition. With this in mind I literally love my plants to death, or so I’ve been told.
In December I added rotted horse manure to the plot, so I was anticipating bumper crops of the usual suspects such as onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peppers and beans to name a few.
The baby onion plugs bought from the local market and planted in February were looking good and we’d already enjoyed several feeds of Spring onions. I always plant more than required then thin the rows and leave the remaining onions to develop. Well, that was the plan until disaster struck!
Last week I went to talk to my onions, as you do, and was horrified to discover they had developed, according to Mr. Google who dug up no-dig-vegetablegarden.com to help solve the mystery, a virus: Botrytis (I think). This is a fungus species which affects onions and as there are three different types.
- Botrytis squamosa (leaf blight)
- Botrytis cinerea (leaf fleck)
- Botrytis allii (neck rot)
I decided the problem was leaf blight (Botrytis squamosa) which spreads rapidly or Downy Mildew. (Downy Mildew is fungal and can be treated with a weekly application of organic fungicide)
I don’t know what caused this other than high humidity.
After deliberating for several hours I decided not to take any chances and dig up the crop and salvage what I could – some for immediate use and dry the smaller onions ready for pickling.
The leaves were disposed of so as to avoid cross-contamination to other plants.
I will not attempt to plant further onions this year but will focus my energy (and water) on the remaining crop of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, radish, peppers and rocket.
Thanks, Eileen. You have just reminded me – I have had some brewing for months! I better see how it’s doing. My tomatoes will be needing some extra love.
I highly recommend manure tea as fertilizer. I do however, not recommend using it on a garden outside the bedroom’s sliding glass doors of a house with only attic fans for cooling.:)
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