Few vegetables stand out in the garden like Swiss chard. These stalks are so eye-catching that it’s just a bonus that they are also ridiculously delicious.
When an illness occurs, it can not only steal dinner but also turn these beautiful plants into a fluffy mess and no one would like that.
This article will discuss 9 diseases that can destroy your Swiss chard plant.
What Diseases Affect Swiss Plants?
1. Soft Rot Of Bacteria
If the leaves of Swiss chard have spots soaked in brown water, or if the midribs of the leaves appear to be rotten, the plant may be suffering from soft rot of bacteria
Pectobacterium carotovorum, Dickeya dadantii, and numerous bacterial species, including several species of the genera Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Erwinia, Clostridium.
These bacteria inhabit the soil and breed in high temperatures and humidity of 22-30 ° C.
The pathogen that causes this disease requires an opening to invade the plant. This means that if an insect bites the stem, accidentally cuts it, or peels off the leaves, it will then be prone to soft rot.
2. Beet Curly Top Virus
Tomatoes, beans, cucumber, mustard, and even weeds like Russian thistle are all affected by the beet curly top virus (BCTV).
It causes stunted development and curled leaves in Swiss chard when plants infect it. The older the leaf, the thicker and stiffer it becomes. The plant eventually turns yellow and dies. And here’s the worst part: there’s no cure.
You can only pull and dispose of your plant once it has contracted this disease.
So good news is that if you can keep beet leafhoppers away from your plants, you won’t have to worry as much about the virus spreading because these insects are the major transmitters.
3. Cercospora Leaf Spot
You can still consume the roots if this fungus (Cercospora beticola) affects your beets. A lush plant with fungal patches, on the other hand, does not pique anyone’s interest.
This fungus enjoys the heat, especially when combined with a high level of humidity. Even wonderful if the foliage stays moist all night.
Small patches will appear on the leaves once it has taken hold. They develop a light brown core with a crimson border as they mature. These spots enlarge and finally fuse, resulting in the leaf’s death.
Cercospora can completely damage your plant if left unchecked. Keep a watch out for it starting on the outer leaves initially.
The fungus lives in the soil and can be found on a variety of weeds and other vegetables.
4. Cucumber Mosaic Virus
Again, this sounds like a disease that affects a completely different plant, but cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is fairly frequent in the vegetable garden.
It infects nightshades, cucurbits, and, yes, beets, Swiss chard, and other Amaranthaceae-related vegetables.
The leaves of an infected Swiss chard plant will usually have a mottled appearance with spots of yellow or light green. Exaggerated cupping areas may also appear on the leaves.
While the virus can spread via pollen or when infected plants come into contact with one another, aphids are the primary vector for its transmission.
5. Damping Off
Damping-off is a common condition that affects a wide range of plant species. It’s one of those difficulties where you know exactly what it looks like once one of your pants has had it.
When Rhizoctonia and Fusarium fungus, as well as water molds from the Pythium genus, produce damping off, seeds fail to germinate. Alternatively, if seedlings do emerge, they will be weak and spindly.
There may be water-soaked sores at the base of the seedlings, as well as a whitish fungus visible on the surface of the soil.
6. Downy Mildew
Peronospora farinosa f. sp. betae, a pathogen that thrives when temperatures are below 68°F and there is a lot of moisture in the air, causes it in Amaranthaceae plants.
You’ll see pale green patches on the tops of the leaves if this oomycete pays you a visit.
On both sides, you may notice white or gray fuzzy growth, especially when there is a lot of moisture present. The leaves may wilt and perish if left unmanaged.
Because this disease thrives in damp environments, keeping that aspect under control in your garden is your best bet. As a result, appropriate plant spacing is critical, as it enhances airflow.
- Leaf Spot
Phoma leaf spot generates dark patches on the leaves with a light brown halo, as well as decaying roots beneath the soil. The fungus that causes the disease, Phoma betae, can spread through water, tools, and soil.
Whether or whether you observe symptoms of this illness, you should rotate your crops every three years and only buy certified disease-free seeds as a precaution.
8. Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is another frequent garden disease, similar to downy mildew. It is caused by the fungus Erysiphe polygoni, which is quite persistent. If this fungus had thumbs, I’m confident it could take over the globe.
It survives the winter in the soil on the tiniest bits of plant waste, and it spreads through the air, on your clothes, tools, and even on flitting insects. It is capable of attacking nightshades, beets and beet relatives, legumes, and a variety of other plants.
Rhizoctonia is a genus of soil fungus. Damping-off refers to when certain species destroy seeds and seedlings (see above). Rhizoctonia rot occurs when these fungi infect older plants.
These viruses enjoy it when there’s too much water in the soil, so make sure you don’t overwater if you want to avoid this disease.
The severity of Rhizoctonia rot is determined by how far it has progressed, which is determined by the amount of moisture in the soil.
The foliage will be harmed in extremely wet conditions, resulting in limp, yellowing leaves with water-soaked sores.
Can I Eat Chard With Holes?
If you take away the damaged areas, greens with holes in them caused by insects or slugs should be good to eat.
There are situations, though, when you should avoid purchasing produce that has been harmed by local wildlife. Yes, they are often completely edible and you do not need to be concerned.
Although all members of the Amaranthaceae family are susceptible to the same illnesses, Swiss chard appears to be a step closer to being disease-free than many of its cousins.
Even yet, if you want to enjoy your crop before fungi, viruses, and bacteria do, you must be aware of what to look out for. Hopefully, this guide will assist you in doing so, and infections will have no chance.