BU54
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Pepper Disease?

Last year and this year my peppers seem to have some disease with spots on the leaves that looks similar to mosaic disease. I do have mosaic disease in the garden that kills off my cucumbers that I can seem to get rid of. The leaves on the pepper plants get the brown spots then they turn yellow and fall off. Last year this happened also but the plants seemed to recover and I had plenty of peppers. I'm concerned that this year the plants may die. I've read a few topics in this forum but couldn't find an answer. Also in the 3rd pic my beets have the spots also but they're growing fine and are almost ready for harvest. Look closely at the stem you can see all the leaves gone.

Is there anything I can do? Is the soil too acidic? Would some type of fertilizer help?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Pepper Disease?

Not mosaic virus. I'm thinking what you have is bacterial leaf spot (BLS), one of the more common diseases of peppers:

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http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/uhmg/FAQ/FA ... epper2.jpg

It is difficult to do much about it, once they have it, but you can work on prevention:
Crop rotation can help prevent bacterial leaf spot. Do not plant peppers or tomatoes in a location where either of these crops has been grown in the past four or five years.

At the end of the season, remove all crop debris from the garden and destroy it. Do not compost plant debris that may contain the disease. Once the area is clean of all visible debris, till the soil or turn it with a shovel to bury any remaining bacteria.

The bacterium is spread by splattering damp soil onto the leaves. Reduce the splatter by using a soaker hose and avoiding overhead watering. Stay out of the garden on wet days to avoid spreading disease on your hands and clothes.

Bacterial leaf spot is also spread through infected seeds. Buy certified disease-free seeds and seedlings. It’s best not to save your own seeds if you have ever had a problem with bacterial leaf spot on peppers.
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/ ... eppers.htm

I noticed your soil is not mulched. I always recommend mulching. It conserves soil moisture so you don't have to water as much, it keeps the soil cooler in hot summer areas, helps suppress weeds, the mulch eventually breaks down to feed the soil AND it helps prevent soil splash back, so helps prevent disease.

Since you know you have the disease in your garden now, you can look for BLS resistant varieties to grow in the future.

Here's another article about it:

http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell. ... afSpot.htm
Warm, wet conditions are favorable for diseases caused by bacteria. Therefore, irrigation method is an important consideration in managing BLS in the field. Overhead irrigation provides both a means of spread for the pathogen and favorable conditions for disease development, therefore trickle irrigation is recommended. In addition to movement by splashing water drops, the pathogen can be spread through any mechanical means imaginable when plants are wet, including on worker’s hands and on machinery such as cultivators. If possible, avoid working fields when the plants are wet and work infested areas last. Disinfect machinery used in infected sections of the field after the job is completed.

Low nitrogen or potassium, and extra high magnesium and calcium levels have been associated with increased crop susceptibility to BLS. Pepper crops that show visible signs of nitrogen deficiency (light colored leaves) have been severely affected by BLS in Connecticut. Researchers have also found that BLS is more severe on pepper plants grown in soils adjusted with dolomitic lime, which is high in magnesium, than plants grown in soils adjusted with Cal limestone (CaCO3). Maintain nutrients at the proper levels (moderate to high) to help plants resist infection
The bacterial leaf spot does infect a number of other plants including beets, so it well could be what is bothering your beets as well.

Bacterial and fungal diseases of plants are much better prevented than treated. Most "treatments" do not work very well once the disease is well established. Along with mulch and making sure there is good air circulation, things you can try include spraying (including undersides of leaves) with baking soda solution (a tablespoon of baking soda, 2 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of liquid soap, not detergent, to one gallon of water), treat with copper fungicide (although this one is not a fungal disease, the copper solution is said to work against it also). There is a product called Serenade which uses a strain of Bacillus subtilis to fight bacterial and fungal diseases. It is completely organic and harmless to insects.

We would have no way to tell by looking at your pictures whether your soil is alkaline or acidic, but you need to know. Either send a sample to be tested or buy a pH meter (the kind with long probes). Any condition which stresses your plants will make them more vulnerable to whatever diseases or pests are around.

Whew... probably more than you wanted to know, but hope it helps!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

BU54
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Re: Pepper Disease?

Soil is not mulched because I used to use grass clippings but read that white flies and grass can carry mosaic disease that my cucumbers developed years ago. As a matter of fact last season I spread grass clippings around my green beans only. Then the bean plants developed mold on the leaves. It rained a lot last year also.
It has been raining a LOT this spring/summer so far and I know that doesn't help.
Thanks for your time for this detailed reply. Looks like I'm SOL this season but will take precautions for next year.

imafan26
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Re: Pepper Disease?

I had that problem too. I had to cull all of the infested seedlings and on the older plants I had to pull the worst of them and keep taking infested leaves off the rest so I can still harvest peppers to eat. I have been spraying with sulfur in humid weather to control the spread. While the seeds can't be saved from these, I am keeping them healthy enough that the new leaves are disease free so I can at least save the harvest.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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GardeningCook
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Re: Pepper Disease?

For the time being - instead of just automatically destroying all your seedlings - pick off & discard (in the trash - not a compost pile) any & all diseased leaves. See how they recover. You might be pleasantly surprised.
My body is a temple. Unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Pepper Disease?

If you think the grass clippings as mulch caused a problem, use something else. I don't like to use grass clippings alone for mulch, because they tend to mat down and get kind of slimy. I use them mixed with other stuff. Other possibilities include straw, pine straw, shredded paper, cardboard, fall leaves if you have any still around, old broken down wood chip/ bark chip mulch, compost, etc.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Re: Pepper Disease?

The beets look like they have cercospora leaf spot a fungal disease common in humid wet weather. Downy mildew would have spots but also a gray powdery look on the upper and lower leaf surfaces. I would remove the infected leaves. Make sure you use gloves or wash your hands and tools before touching anything else. Bag and trash the leaves. In humid weather I have to spray every week with sulfur as a preventive.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

BU54
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Re: Pepper Disease?

Where would I get sulfur spray? I have some sulfur pellets. Could I grind some pellets and mix with water? If so how much?

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GardeningCook
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Re: Pepper Disease?

Sulfur for garden use is available at garden centers, hardware stores, etc., etc. It comes in several forms - powder, liquid, etc. - & there should be directions on the bag telling you the proportions to use for making a spray.
My body is a temple. Unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper.

BU54
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Re: Pepper Disease?

Last night after mowing the grass yet again(ugh)I removed the leaves from the ground and most of the infected leaves from the pepper plants and beets. I'm a little nervous because some plants don't have many leaves left now. I'll keep you guys posted on what happens.
OH one thing I noticed when removing some leaves some of the tiny peppers just fell off the plant from the shock of picking some leaves.

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MichaelC
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Re: Pepper Disease?

Micronized gypsum can be mixed with water for a quick application of sulfur.

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GardeningCook
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Re: Pepper Disease?

MichaelC wrote:Micronized gypsum can be mixed with water for a quick application of sulfur.
Lol! May be true, but wouldn't it be just as easy, if not easier, to find/buy garden sulfur?
My body is a temple. Unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper.

BU54
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Re: Pepper Disease?

What exactly will the sulfur do? Prevent bacterial spread or kill the exsisting bacteria also?

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MichaelC
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Re: Pepper Disease?

GardeningCook wrote:
MichaelC wrote:Micronized gypsum can be mixed with water for a quick application of sulfur.
Lol! May be true, but wouldn't it be just as easy, if not easier, to find/buy garden sulfur?
I'd guess you're right, I've only been gardening for a couple years. I had no problem finding Diamond K gypsum at my local gardening store, a large sack that will last many years.

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