Garden Diseases

Grey Mould

Garden diseases are common and gardeners must be on the lookout for the kinds of diseases that can ruin plants and vegetables.  

Grey mould is a disease which can run riot if given a chance especially in a greenhouse. This fuzzy grey mould grows on buds, leaves, flowers and fruit.  Grey mould is known as Botrytis cinerea. The spores from the fungus are aroundus all the time.

 

Plants affected are those that have been stressed or injured. It will affect most of your fruit and vegetables, some houseplants, ornamentals, shrubs and trees especially plants grown under glass where conditions can be humid and overcrowded.

 

How to spot

You will know if you have grey mould if you see a grey-brown or off-white fuzzy growth on the leaves, stems, fruits or flowers of plants. For instance, grey mould can damage the stems of tomato plants causing the fruit to rot.  Sometimes if you touch the plant a cloud of spores will be released into the air. Other things to look out for are wilting, shriveling and rotting tissue. Once a plant is infected, botrytis may spread to all parts depending on its species and variety.

 

How to treat

If the conditions are damp and cool make sure you keep a lookout for early signs of grey mould.

You can reduce the occurrence of this disease by improving the ventilation in your greenhouse.

Remember, grey mould will attack any plant that has been injured so remove dead or injured plant parts before they can become infected. It your plants have already been struck with grey mould then remove the infected areas immediately and cut back into a healthy growth. Be sure to keep weeds down and clear away any surrounding plant debris. Separate plants to avoid overcrowding and spreading of the disease. And, use a fungicide appropriate for grey mould.


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