In the Garden: solving fungus problems
Many gardeners are fighting fungus on their plants and trees. The dark, patchy spot kind of looks like chicken pox marks but it's actually fungus.

Many gardeners are coming into Dundee Nursery in Plymouth, wondering why its popping up on plants and tree leaves.

Apple scab, bladder gall and anthracnose are some common fungus found on maple trees. Fungus has been growing more this year than most years, because we had a cool, rainy spring. And as soon as it gets warm and the humidity kicks in, the fungus spreads more. The good news is the infection won't kill your plants or trees, but they might not look pretty.

"Some things like your apple scabs, will actually defoliate 50 percent of your tree in the middle of the summer," said Dundee Expert John Henning.

Mildew can also attack annuals and vegetables. When water gets on your plant and stays for a long time, fungus spreads more quickly. You can't do anything about the rain, but when you decide to water your plants make sure to apply the water underneath plants, keeping the leaves and stems as dry as possible.

When you water could also make a difference.

"The morning gives you more time to dry, because as soon as the sun shines, the leaves start to dry off," explained Henning. "If you water when you get home from work, the leaves can stay wet for hours."

Gardeners can also prevent the spread of fungus by getting rid of infected leaves.

"Clean up your leaves in the fall. When they fall on the ground, that gets rid of the spores that might open during winter and try to prevent it from happening next spring," said Henning.

Chemicals can also slow down the spread of fungus, but it most likely won't stop it altogether. For a more organic option, use a mild solution of baking soda and water on fungus.

Sonya Goins, reporting

June 22, 2017


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