Fusarium are a large genus of fungi that are present in almost all soils worldwide. Most are harmless saprobes which feed on decaying organisms.
However, Fusarium solani and Fusarium oxysporum are the cause of the root rot and wilt, respectively, that are the primary disease issues of Lisianthus. Fusarium is ubiquitous in most environments, and will affect most growers from time to time.
Farmer Bailey always recommends drenching your plugs with a biofungicide (Rootshield, Actinovate, PreFence, etc.) or fungicide just before transplant if fusarium is present in your soil. Pull out and destroy affected plants to slow its spread.
Recently, farmer Melanie Macfarlane at Sweet Spot Farm in Nova Scotia, Canada reached out to us to share a 2015 document created by the Department of Agriculture in New Brunswick, Canada: "Growing Mustard for Biofumigation."
Mustard is a well understood biofumigant effective against Fusarium and many other soil pests.
We have not yet experimented with growing mustard for biofumigation, and eagerly await hearing more from Melanie Macfarlane on her efforts to combat Fusarium at Sweet Spot Farm. Read the full document Growing Mustard for Biofumigation here. How do you deal with Fusarium and other Lisianthus pests on your farm? Leave us a Comment below to share what works!
Image provided by Cavendish Farms research division
- Control of Fusarium wilt of lisianthus by reassembling the microbial community in infested soil through reductive soil disinfestation; Xing Zhou et al, Microbiological Research Volume 220
- Impacts of Biofumigation and Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation on Strawberry Production; Jennnifer Reneé Wheeler, University of Tennessee Knoxville