JoyousFaith08
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:02 pm
Location: Appalachian Mountains - Hardiness Zone 6a/6b & Sunset Zone 36, 2,375 ft. elevation

How to tell if disease is in the soil?

My pepper plants had something wrong with them (picture attached) and after Googling, it seemed to be rust. It started on the bottom leaves and worked its way up the plant. For several weeks, I meticulously cut off all the bad leaves and sprayed with neem oil and Serenade (not at the same time). I finally gave up on stopping the problem and pulled up the peppers and got rid of them. The peppers were planted in a planter next to a Stevia plant and it never had the same symptoms. It is early enough in the season that I would like to get a couple more pepper starters and put them in the empty planter space, but I don't know how to tell if my soil is bad. Can I plant more peppers? Or should I plant something that isn't a nightshade? Or should I consider the soil contaminated and replace before next season?

Anyone have any ideas? Thank you SO much for your help.
Attachments
Pepper Leaf.jpg

bri80
Senior Member
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:12 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: How to tell if disease is in the soil?

It looks like you've got the soil covered with a black landscape cloth? If so, it is unlikely to me that the issue is spores being kicked up from your soil. You might be cooking the plant's roots, though!

If you have fungal disease on your leaves, the best thing to do is to never get them wet. Water the soil, not the plant. If the leaves stay dry, they will (most likely) be fine. If rain attempts to thwart you, your plants are in a planter - try moving them under cover while it rains and watering the soil carefully by hand, so the plant stays dry.

JoyousFaith08
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:02 pm
Location: Appalachian Mountains - Hardiness Zone 6a/6b & Sunset Zone 36, 2,375 ft. elevation

Re: How to tell if disease is in the soil?

Thank you!

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