CucCAP vegetable pathologist, Dr. Tony Keinath discusses fungicide stewardship.
Certain diseases become a factor if pumpkins are growing in fields with increased moisture.
Five years ago, there was no solid foundation for managing Fusarium wilt in watermelons. Now, researchers have identified several techniques watermelon growers can use to help combat the disease.
Fusarium Wilt has a host range limited to watermelon. However, there are different types of this pathogen that can infect squash, cucumbers and other melons, but these types do not infect watermelon and vice versa. This is one reason why grafting with squash or other cucurbit rootstocks can nearly eliminate Fusarium Wilt.
Carolina Strongback is a rootstock watermelon that is resistant to Fusarium wilt and the southern root-knot nematode, according to William “Pat” Wechter, plant pathologist with the ARS U.S. Vegetable Research Laboratory (USVL) in Charleston, South Carolina.
Gummy stem blight (GSB) and fusarium wilt (FW) can be common problems for watermelon producers in the Southeast. These two diseases are caused by fungal pathogens from the same taxonomic subphylum, but that is where the similarities end. GSB tends to be more of a foliar pathogen that can move to the petioles and vines, and in extreme cases, the melons. FW is confined to the soil and only affects the plant’s vascular tissue. Because of these differences, the management of these pathogens tends to vary.
The Vegetable and Specialty Crop News June 2019 edition features two articles about disease problems of interest to cucurbit growers.
Several new pumpkin, squash, and melon varieties that were developed at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire were released by cooperating seed companies.