Problems Affecting Green Vegetables
Lettuces produce tall, flower-bearing stems and fail to heart-up. This happens especially in hot weather. Avoid late transplanting and overcrowding. Keep lettuces well-watered, especially at the seedling stage.
A fungal disease affecting peas and beans, causing discoloration and rotting of stem bases, usually leading to plant death. Water young plants with Cheshunt compound and do not grow legumes on the same site for several years.
Small brown or black spots, caused by various bacteria and fungi may appear on leaves of cabbages and cauliflowers, which fall prematurely. Cut off and burn diseased leaves. Where plants are growing close together, remove alternate plants to improve circulation of air.
Brassica leaves may be torn or eaten almost completely, newly transplanted brassicas may be uprooted, and pea and bean seeds may be taken. Damage occurs throughout the year. Erect netting over crops where pigeons are very troublesome. A framework of black cotton or strings tied with glittering foil strips may also deter them.
Rabbits eat lettuces, often nibbling several plants rather than just one. Erect a 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) high wire-mesh fence around the vegetable garden, burying 30cm (lft) of the mesh below soil level to prevent rabbits from burrowing underneath.
Foliage discoloration, premature leaf fall, die-back of shoots or collapse of plants caused by soil that is too wet or too dry, or various fungal diseases. Any vegetable may be affected. Destroy infected plants and improve soil conditions. Employ a good crop rotation programme over a three-year cycle.
Slugs and snails
Large holes eaten in foliage; young plants may be devoured completely. Slime tracks present. Most troublesome in spring and autumn during moist weather. Scatter proprietary slug bait around affected plants or sink beer traps at intervals along the rows.
Lettuces develop brown, scorched leaf edges during sudden hot spells in spring or summer due to water loss. Try to maintain a constant soil moisture level.
A fungal disease causing blisters on leaves and stems of brassicas. These blisters are filled with white powdery spores. Remove and burn diseased leaves and stems.
A disease that affects many young plants, especially cauliflowers and other brassicas. Stem bases turn brown and shrink, causing death or stunting. Make sure that seedlings are raised in sterilized compost. Destroy diseased plants.