Summer plant diseases - what to fear for summer crops

Summer plant diseases - what to fear for summer crops

by dr. Giuseppe Pepe

The plant diseases they can actually explode in summer, thanks to the climatic conditions summer favorable and to the stress to which the plants in our fields are subjected, due to the lack of water supplies.

We've already talked about what to grow in the summer and gave tips on summer crops.

Today we will talk to you instead of illnesses of the summer plants.

Enjoy the reading!

Summer diseases

We have already spoken in numerous articles of pests in the countryside such as aphids; snails; lemon parasites complete with biological remedies; bad plant diseases they are not due solely to parasitic animals.

They exist in fact, even in the current days summer, plant diseases due to fungi, bacteria and viruses to keep an eye on in this period.

Summer illnesses: Fire blight

L' Erwinia amylovora is the bacterium responsible for fire blight; falls between summer plant diseases which mainly affect the pome fruit (pear, apple and quince) but also some species of ornamental and spontaneous plants belonging to the family of Rosaceae.

The blight fire occurs above all on the young branches of the pome fruit in the summer days ranging from May to September.

This is one of those quarantine diseases, subjected to compulsory control.

In fact, every suspected case of fire must be reported to the Provincial Phytosanitary Service; furthermore, any kind of personal initiative intervention is absolutely forbidden due to the great ease with which bacteriosis can spread.

As with practically all bacterial diseases, there are no plant protection products that can be used for direct treatment, practically leaving to preventive measures any intervention aimed at limiting the arrival in the field and the spread of this disease.

Downy mildew

The real king of summer is the tomato, but also the lord of summer plants is susceptible to illnesses like everyone else.

This fungal disease can attack many vegetables in addition to tomato crops and is a great enemy of the vine; we talked about it in a specially dedicated article here.

The ideal conditions for the development of the fungus pathogen of downy mildew are precisely high temperatures combined with low rainfall and dry climate.


The melon is a plant typical of hot climates and to be grown in weeks summer.

The minimum temperature required for seed germination is generally around 24 degrees C, it fears frost and the optimal temperature range within which it grows easily is between 25 and 30 ° C; below 15 degrees it enters vegetative stasis.

Nematodes can be agents of illnesses for all cucurbits, including melons.

The climatic conditions summer combined with light, sandy soils and an average soil temperature of around 27˚C, they represent the optimal conditions for nematodes and for the development of disease states.

Plants affected by nematodes have yellowed foliage and stunted growth, in addition, due to the reduction in water absorption capacity by roots, they wither in the hottest hours of the day.

The roots of plants affected by nematodes can develop galls, or irregular and knotty swellings, both isolated and in clusters.

Nematodes can also transfer viruses that can cause virosis.

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Radish companion plants: what are the best companion plants for radishes

Radishes are one of the fastest producers, often harvesting a crop in three to four weeks in the spring. Subsequent strains provide roots in six to eight weeks. These plants tolerate transplanting as long as they are not shaded by taller species. Many crops make great companion plants for radishes, which fill up after the roots are harvested. Installing plants that grow well with radishes can maximize garden bed use while taking advantage of the spicy radish's unique repellent properties.

What to do in case of heat and drought

If on the one hand we are looking forward to summer because we associate it with beach holidays, on the other hand we must think that the dry climate is a source of concern for amateur gardeners. Meteorologists agree that periods of severe drought will be increasingly frequent in the future. We will therefore give you some advice on how to intervene to limit the risks of possible damage.

The best premise: good soil and good rooting

"Prevention is better than cure" and this popular saying is especially true in gardening. By adopting strategies and carrying out targeted interventions, it is possible to help guarantee plants survival even in periods of absence of rain. A few examples?

Password: robust plants

If you live in a place that is already hot and dry, you need to choose plant species that can tolerate heat. Examples are: lavender, verbena, lantana and dipladenia. Fruit trees are also suitable because, with high solar radiation, they produce particularly tasty fruits. Naturally, Mediterranean plants such as citrus, olive, oleander, but also rosemary also benefit from the warm temperatures.

Healthy plants equal hardy plants

Nutrients are the magic word when it comes to protecting crops from heat and drought. COMPO recommends granular fertilizer with sheep's wool that can absorb a lot of water, thus improving the supply of plants in drought phases, as well as providing a certain amount of humus. Another suggestion to escape from the grip of the heat is to apply mulch on the ground such as COMPO Bark of Maritime Pine or COMPO Volcanic Lapillo. Trivially, a layer of cut grass, leaves and crop residues reduces evaporation, protecting the soil from overheating.

Fertilize naturally

The precious sheep's wool

COMPO fertilizer with sheep's wool has both an immediate and long-lasting fertilizing effect, up to 5 months. Sheep's wool provides excellent hygroscopic capacity to retain moisture in the soil and reduce water waste

Keep the lawn healthy. it's nice!

The new COMPO PRATO seeds guarantee the best results in all environmental conditions and have a high germination capacity thanks to modern genetics and partial sugar coating. This special sugar coating covers the seed with minerals and nutrients which increase its germination success. In addition, it allows you to absorb up to 3 times the amount of water compared to a simple uncoated seed. Not only. The partial confection is based on a green pigment that is invisible to birds, preventing them from being stolen.

Of course, for good germination, sufficient watering is still necessary (at least once a day in abundance).
The lawn must also be fertilized in advance in anticipation of possible summer inconveniences. Fertilizers rich in potassium, such as COMPO FLORANID Summer Autumn, have the peculiarity of strengthening the root system of the blades of grass, as well as improving the water retention of the plant.
Finally, during the hot season, it is better to avoid mowing: the grass should be at least 4.5-5 centimeters long in order to better shade the ground.

Snow care in the summer ground cover

Snow in summer ground cover is very easy to maintain, but it will spread quickly and may become invasive, even earning the nickname of the cherry tree. The plant spreads rapidly, stirring and dispatching runners. However, a 5-inch deep border will usually keep this plant within its boundaries.

Use a high nitrogen fertilizer during planting and a phosphorus fertilizer after the plants bloom.

Don't let the blanket of the Cerastium silver rug go unnoticed. Growing snow in summer plants in rock gardens, on slopes or slopes, or even as a knockout border in the garden will provide long-lasting pearly white blooms and striking silvery color all year round.

How to keep squirrels out of the garden

So what keeps squirrels away? There are a few things you can do to help repel squirrels. However, depending on where you live, you may find that these methods are truly inconvenient and inappropriate. For example, shooting, trapping, or fumigating in burrows may be appropriate in the country, but if you live in the city, these are actions that could get you in trouble.

What keeps squirrels away in some areas may not work in others, depending on the breed of squirrel you are dealing with. If these are ground squirrels, you may want to try flooding their burrows. This keeps them away because they have no home and need to find another one. They will look for drier ground and stay away from the area you have flooded.

You can also try using a natural squirrel repellent, such as predator urine or ground chili. These will keep the squirrel pests for at least a short period of time. But be aware that any squirrel repellent eventually becomes ineffective as the squirrels get used to it.

Also, you can plant bulbs that squirrels don't like in areas where you don't want them.

Vegetable garden: what to plant month by month

Here is a small guide that will help you understand what to plant in the various months of the year and how to do it based on lunar calendar.

What to plant in January

The first thing to do with the beginning of the new year is to eliminate the residues of the plants grown the previous year from the soil. Then, depending on the climate and the areas in which you are located, you can start growing:
- in a warm bed (i.e. in a small greenhouse) or under glass: summer cabbage, aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, celery, melons, watermelons, lettuce
- in the open field, on the other hand, you can plant white garlic, proceed with the sowing of broad beans and peas.

As we explained in our article "Pruning fruit trees: calendar, techniques and tips", January is also the month for the beginning of apple, pear and kiwi pruning.

What to plant in February

In February we proceed with the sowing of vegetables which we will then harvest in spring / summer. This operation follows the sowing calendar which in turn is influenced by the phases of the moon.
- with the falling moon leafy vegetables and celery are sown in the shelter and beets, spinach and lettuce are planted
- with the Crescent moon, on the other hand, carrots, radishes and peas are usually fertilized outdoors and, in the shelter, the herbs.

What to sow in March

Thing sow in March it depends a lot on the type of climate. In fact, it may happen that if you sow too early and sudden drops in temperature or excessive rains arrive, the entire harvest is lost.

In general, however, March is the right month to plant:
- in protected cultivation: watermelon, basil, artichokes, head cabbage, savoy cabbage, cucumbers, endives, fennel, aubergines, peppers, tomatoes, leeks, celery, courgettes and aromatic herbs
- in the open field: garden beets, beets, carrots, cut chicory, onions, lettuce, peas, parsley, turnips, radishes, rocket, spinach.

April, what to plant in the garden

During the month of April you can plant: watermelons, asparagus, basil, chard and ribs, artichokes, thistles, carrots, cabbage, chicory, onions, endives, escarole, beans, green beans, fennel, salad, melons, aubergines, peppers, peas , parsley, radishes, rocket, celery, courgettes.

Furthermore, by the 10th of the month it is possible to plant chickpeas and after the 25th to proceed with the potato sowing.

May, what to plant in the garden

Between plants to be sown in May we remember beans, green beans, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, strawberries.

A small precaution: in May temperatures tend to increase so it is necessary to water in the early hours of the morning and after sunset in order to prevent excessive changes in temperature from wilting the plants.

June, what to plant in the garden

June is the month of beets, basil, carrots, chard, cabbage, chicory, beans, lettuce, leeks, parsley, radish, rocket, celery, courgettes.

Attention should also be paid to fungal diseases and insect attacks on already developed plants of tomatoes, aubergines and peppers. It is also necessary to prepare the supports and nets for the climbing plants and clean the tomatoes from the superfluous parts that grow.

The garden in July and August

In the months of July and August, basil, chard, carrot, cauliflower, chicory, onions, endive, fennel, beans, green beans, lettuce, parsley, radish, turnips, rocket, valerian, courgettes are sown in the open field.

Considering that we are in the hottest months of the year, it is good to water regularly and carry out all the operations to control weeds and diseases that can attack the plant.

In August, in particular, you can begin to arrange the soil for the subsequent transplants of chicory, cabbage, cabbage, tomatoes, fennel.

What to plant in the garden in September

September is the right month for sow in the open field beets, chard, carrot, cabbage, chicory, endives, fennel, lettuce, parsley, turnips, radishes, rocket, spinach, valerian.

October: what's in the garden

Understand with the arrival of autumn and colder temperatures what to plant in the garden it becomes more difficult, because the varieties of plants that are suitable for this season decrease. Usually chicory, broad bean, lettuce, parsley, radish, rocket, spinach, valerian are sown in the open field. October is also the right month for sowing peas and for planting onions.
November and December: cultivate the vegetable garden in the cold months

In these months, broad beans, peas, radishes, spinach and valerian are sown in the open field. While growing in warm beds or under glass lettuce, green chicory, rocket. In addition, peas and onion and garlic bulbs can still be planted throughout the month of November and up to the first 15 days of December.

Treatment of parsley diseases

There are some varieties of parsley that are resistant to the most common diseases, including "Paramount". If the seed is not available from one of the resistant varieties, cultural control is often effective in fighting these diseases.

Use a drip line to water the plants and water in the morning so the parsley dries for a long time.

Practice crop rotation to prevent pathogens present in the soil from infesting subsequent crops.

Dilute the herbs to promote circulation and parsley in a sunny place. Air and sunlight are essential for the treatment of parsley diseases.

Some fungal diseases will respond to sulfur fungicide applied at the first sign of infection. If the plants are already heavily infested and fail, pull them up, discard them and start over.