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Rainy season poses a threat to home gardens

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 4:24 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - After a dry spring, our region has seen some rain which can cause some issues for home gardens.

Experts at the University of Vermont say more rain in your garden creates problems that are unique to this summer. Ann Hazelrigg, a UVM Extension plant pathologist, says fungal diseases thrive in wet climates like what we are experiencing now.

“For fungal spores to infect plants, they need a wetting period, they need the leaves to stay wet for six to eight hours,” said Hazelrigg.

In addition to fungus, experts say this rain can bring pests like the swede midge, a serious insect pest, can cause problems when they lay eggs during the warm weather and lots of rain.

“It causes some minor scarring, it opens a wound in the plant, the high humidity makes for more disease, and now you have a wound in the plant and makes it susceptible for disease,” said Victor Izzo PhD, of the University of Vermont Department of Plant and Soil Science & Environmental Studies.

Izzo adds that this combination of humidity, fungus, and seasonal pests can be a real issue for the growth and life of Vermonters’ plants.

He advises you to remove any diseased leaves from the plant as soon as you notice, as he expects diseases to increase in the next few weeks.

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