How To Grow Vegetables

Swede Pests And Diseases

The swede is a crop that can suffer from a number of pests and diseases, which can reduce the crop size and quality of the swede. The major problems are: -

Cabbage Root Fly which will attack the swede in the same way as most Brassica’s it used to be easy to control by pesticides but all of these have been revoked and that makes life difficult. The cabbage root fly will attack the swede at ground level and the top will die. The infected swedes need removing and destroying and the crop should be rotated. One way, which has been tried to solve the problem, is to cover the ground with a mesh and let the swedes survive under the mesh. The problem is that the flies overwinter in the soil and in Spring lay their eggs again but it does seem more successful than most cures.

Aphids cover the plants and they can be removed by washing with soapy water or introducing ladybirds.

Flea beetles lay their eggs in the swedes and the larvae bore their way through the roots or work on the leaves, which discolour. These can be destroyed by pesticides although the mesh covers talked about above will have the same effect as on the cabbage root fly.

Club root where the roots are all matted together often comes in acidic soil, crop rotation will help and use lime stone to get the PH of the soil right, it may take a couple of years to do.

Downey Mildew is a grey powdery appearance and a wilting of the leaves and is usually caused by planting in a soil area that is too moist. Remove the plants and destroy them and solve the water problem or plant elsewhere.

Slugs and snails will eat brassicas and they home in on them. Use slug traps or pick them up and remove them.

Caterpillars and butterflies will eat the leaves and the caterpillars should be picked off and butterflies will only be stopped by netting the swedes. The damage is not usually too severe, as they will attack other plants first.

Crop rotation is important cabbage root fly is a major disaster but the problems can be solved. Like swedes? Then find out How To Grow Swedes

By Richard Allen -

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