GLT's Grow: Avoiding Clubroot | WGLT

GLT's Grow: Avoiding Clubroot

Apr 21, 2017

If you see THIS in your garden, dig it up and get rid of it!
Credit Lesley L. / Flickr via Creative Commons

Clubroot is a serious problem in gardens, with broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower vulnerable to its attack.

  • Clubroot is caused by a soil-borne  fungus --   Plasmodiophora brassicae. 
  • The fungus infects  plants, getting in through the root hairs.  The roots them become swollen and deformed -- hence the name clubroot.  This leads to cracking and rotting.
  • As a result, the plants can't absorb water or get their nutrients.  And that leads to plant failure.
  • It's tough to spot from the surface, since your plants might be a little wilted or have slight browning on the edges of leaves.  But under the ground, there's much afoot.
  • Wind, water and garden tools can spread the fungus, and warm weather encourages it to flourish.
  •  Keeping the soil at a slightly acidic pH of 7.1 - 7.2 could help hold the fungus at bay.  
  • Fungicides are of little to no help.  Remove the plants and the soil and dispose of them -- no composting or burning.
  • Only use plants that are resistant to the fungus.