Potato Plants
Q.

aerial stem rot on potatoes

Zone 7 | jody85 added on June 11, 2015 | Answered

What to do in the case of aerial stem rot on potatoes? I have what I believe to be aerial stem rot in my potato plants. I have never had to deal with it before. It is normally stormy during the spring here, with time to dry between storms. This year, however, we had an overly wet spring which almost immediately went from rainy and 60°-70°F days and 45°-55° nights to humid (60%-90%/ but little to no additional rain), 85°-95° days and 70°-80°nights. Also, prior to infection, the plants did receive hail damage. I have looked extensively on the web trying to find out what I should do. From the best I can tell, there is little to do in the way of treatment to save the plants. If this is not so, please advise. My biggest concern is the tubers themselves. Should I immediately destroy the vines and harvest the tubers, or destroy the vines and leave the tubers to harden their skin, or perhaps do nothing until vines are completely dead and then harvest? I find plenty of sites describing identification of the disease, as well as how to prevent but that's it. If anyone can advise/instruct me on how to handle the situation, now that it's present and spreading rapidly, I would appreciate it. Also, what of other plants (current: tomato, cucurbits - cucumbers, cantaloupes/muskmelons, watermelons, pumpkins, summer and winter squash of various types, okra, beans {pinto, Kentucky wonder, California black eyed peas - cowpeas, etc}, radishes, carrots, corn, asparagus, and onion. Later in year: cabbage, turnips, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, lettuce.)? Is there any danger of the aerial stem rot spreading and infecting any of these plants? If so, is there anything I can do to avoid or minimize the infection of and mainly the damage to the susceptible plants? This is my income, so I will certainly be much obliged to any honest advice. Thank you.

A.
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Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 11, 2015

I found theses links for you that may help with some of your questions.
I could not find any real information on how likely it could spread to the remainder of your garden.

http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/potato-solanum-tuberosum-bacterial-soft-rot-blackleg-and-lenticel-rot

http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/wivegdis/pdf/2011/Disease%20Supplement%205%20July%2020%202011.pdf

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