The Mosaic Monster-There are many viruses that can attack your plants and vegetables,posing serious problems to their growth and production. The Mosaic Virus however has surely earned its spot on the long list of garden nightmares as it is becoming more common each year.Although there is no cure and can surely reap havoc in any garden all is not necessarily lost.Some suggest digging up the plant and burning it but that advice is now seen as outdated.The virus though it wont kill your plant can hamper hamper its ability to produce and show vigour.
Rescue and Restore – The virus is transmitted in two key ways from plant to plant and you the gardener and also comes in many variations such as spotted wilt,fern leaf and streak to name a few but can all be identified by the distinctive yellow leaves.In order to eliminate this garden dilemma some basic steps can be followed to restore your plants and order in your garden.
These steps are as follows:
1. After handling a plant with mosaic virus always wash your hands thoroughly before touching another plant.This will stop the disease being transmitted to your other plants.
2. Try and leave tending to plants with any sign of the disease to the last, especially when removing yellow leaves as described below.
3. Remove all yellowing or bronzed leaves and put them away for burning.
4. Make sure that infected plants are well watered and well fed but not overfed.
If you take the steps above, the plants will recover a lot of their vigour, the yellow leaves will slowly reduce and the danger of cross-infection will be minimal. Clear up all debris during the season and especially at the end of the season, no signs of infected leaves should be left on the soil.
Next season, definitely don’t plant tomatoes or cucumbers in the same area again.If you are using a greenhouse,remove all the top soil and replace it with new soil.Increasing the temperature in the greenhouse above 24°C (75°F) has been proven to reduce the effects of mosaic virus.
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