3 articles tagged "Spinach".

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While many growers use high tunnels to extend the growing period for warm-season crops such as tomatoes or cucumbers, it is also possible to grow cool-season crops such as spinach well into winter. The winter over much of Indiana has been rather mild; spinach and other cool-season crops should be doing well. However, disease and insect pests may be a problem. In the first week of March, I observed leaf spot on spinach growing in a high tunnel (Figure 1). Note that the lesions occur on a cluster of plants indicating possible spread of a fungus. A closer look shows that the center of the lesion may be dark with fungal sporulation (Figure 2). I was able to confirm the disease as Cladopsorium leaf spot of spinach. Little is known about the biology of the fungal pathogen. However, the disease is favored by rainy or at least moist weather. The[Read More…]


Figure 1. Lettuce in high tunnel showing symptoms of lettuce drop caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiurum. Photo by Erin Bluhm.

Some of the red and green multi-leaf lettuce plants in Figure 1 are wilted and closer inspection reveals death and soft decay at the crown and well as freeze damage (Figure 2). Getting even closer as in Figure 3 we see white fuzzy mold and find hard black sclerotia 1/8 to ¼ inch across and up to ½ inch long at the base of the plants and in the soil. These sclerotia confirm that the plants have succumbed to white mold or lettuce drop caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The lettuce was transplanted in September or October 2016 and the photos taken in mid to late January. We continue to see more plants succumbing to the disease. Infection by this fungus begins when sclerotia buried in the soil produce small mushroom-like apothecia and spores from the apothecia land on susceptible plant tissue, germinate, and invade the plant. Sclerotia can[Read More…]


Do you grow spinach or lettuce in Northwest Indiana? Drs. Lindsay Gielda and Scott Bates in the Dept. of Biological Sciences at Purdue University Northwest would like to collect a few samples from your farm. They are studying how the endosymbiotic fungi that naturally live on spinach and lettuce might inhibit the growth of pathogenic E. coli strains on these plants. They need samples from a variety of farms (large and small) in order to gain a better understanding of the diversity of endosymbiotic fungi that occur in this area. If your farm is within 60 miles of Westville, Indiana and you would be willing to allow them to collect a sample sometime between 05-01-2016 and 07-31-2016, please call or email Dr. Gielda at (773) 655-6217 or lgielda@pnw.edu.


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