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How To Spot White Mold In Your Garden & What To Do

See how to do soil solarization here.

White Mold. Timber Rot. Stem Rot. Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum.

It’s referred to in many ways, but the symptoms are a fluffy white fungus that steadily grows on your plants and eventually develops black lesions, wilting, falling leaves, dried-out stems, rotting fruit, and not long after, death.

It’s a fast-acting fungus that sadly, isn’t really reversible once it takes hold of your plants. Unfortunately, some of our tomatoes got it… so they got the chop!

White mold (as we’ll call it for the rest of this writing) likes to form in wet, cool climates and once you see it, you want to get rid of any plants with it and plan to ‘fix’ your soil.

What To Do If Your Plants Have It

After giving the infected plants the chop, and removing them from your garden there are 3 main things you can do to help prevent this or at least not deal with it in the future.

First, soil solarization. Remove your plants in your garden, cover the soil tightly with a plastic tarp, and let it bake in the sun for 8 weeks. This should kill off the fungus and even other ailments in your soil like plant parasitic nematodes (aka. bad nematodes).

Second, fungicides. Everyone has their personal preference whether they want to use them or not, but there are a variety of options that handle this and a variety of other fungi.

Third, grow unaffected crops. Corn and grains aren’t very susceptible to white mold, so you can grow them in the area where you had white mold without issue. You’ll have to do this for a few years though, since the fungi spores can live for years in your soil

Our personal preference is soil solarization. You’ll miss out on two months of gardening in the affected area, but afterward, you can go back to growing anything you want.

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