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Prevent Plant Problems Before They Get Started

Thu, Jan 14th, 2021, created by Jean Williams-Woodward

As growers across the country are either knee-deep in spring crops or preparing to plant, growers should remember follow good sanitation practices to reduce disease, insect, and weed problems. Check out the e-GRO alerts “Sanitation: Start clean, stay clean!” ( and “Ounce of prevention” ( for good advice on preventing problems and pests. Damping-off and root disease of annual bedding plants, broad mites in hanging baskets, and downy mildew on basil has already being seen in southern greenhouses. Don’t get caught off-guard by these problems. Luckily, there are more e-GRO alerts to help identify and manage greenhouse plant problems. Review “The problem with a picture: Pythium in propagation” (, “Pythium Problems” (, and “Rhizoctonia infection in high density fern production” ( for management recommendations of the most common damping-off pathogens, Pythium and Rhizoctonia. Information on identifying plant symptoms and management of broad mites can be found in the alert, “Distorted and Stunted Growth: Ornamental Peppers” ( Current information on managing downy mildew of basil is available in “Managing basil downy mildew in the greenhouse” ( Having plant problems not mentioned here? Then, search the archived e-GRO resources at for information on other pest, disease, and nutritional problems.

About the Author:

Jean Williams-Woodward

Associate Professor, University of Georgia

Jean is an Associate Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist at the University of Georgia. Jean provides statewide plant disease diagnosis and management recommendations for ornamental plants in greenhouses, nurseries, and landscapes. She also teaches three courses in plant disease diagnosis and ornamental pest management. She brings over 25 years of experience in working with ornamental plant producers and extension outreach providing education programs and on-site plant problem diagnostics.

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