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Common diseases affecting your pumpkin

Downy mildew on pumpkin leaf

Diseases infestation in your plants has always been hard to avoid. During pumpkin farming, identification of a disease is the primary step to saving your crops. The common diseases that can affect your pumpkin are; anthracnose, powdery mildew, scab and gummy stem.

Anthracnose

It caused by bacteria that is responsible for the yellowish spots around the leaves and the fruit which enlarge and turn brown. The pumpkin leaves will later dry up. The spots on fruits are circular, black and sunken.

You can prevent the disease from infesting to other leaves simply by plucking the infected leaf and throwing it away.  Certified seeds from an agro vet and by removing weeds on the farm to control it.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is also among the common diseases that can affect pumpkins. The first symptoms develop as powdery talcum powdery growth on the upper surface of the leaves. On extreme cases, the leaves will turn brown, become brittle and later dry up. The pumpkin stems can also be affected by the disease. It will cause sun-burning and premature ripening of fruits.

Scab

The disease attacks the upper part of the plant above the ground. The leaves will have pale green spots. The spots colour will change from grey to white and later have sharp corners. Affected leaves curl, shrivel and die. The horrific aspect of the disease is that wind and rain splash can spread it easily. Just like the rest of the diseases, use certified seeds and remove weeds to prevent the disease.

Gummy stems

Gummy stems are irregular spots that appear on the leaves. The irregular spots are centred with the development of pycnidia, a fungal fruity body, that results in stunting. The spots tear and drop down, tattering the leaves.

It can be managed by practising crop rotation, good sanitation to avoid pathogen development, reducing high humidity build up in the field.

Early detection is the best approach to treat these diseases. You need to have an eagle’s eye while monitoring your pumpkin to spot the slighted sign birthing a disease.


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