Disease presence last year can indicate a risk for the same disease this year. Many pathogens overwinter in Kentucky on infected plant material or as pathogen survival structures. Poor sanitation practices can lead to an increased risk of these diseases in the upcoming season. A record of small fruit samples submitted to University of Kentucky Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratories in 2015 was used to evaluate the most prevalent diseases. The most common diseases of berries (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry) were root/crown rots (Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium) and leaf spots (Figure 1). In grapes, the most common diseases were black rot and anthracnose (Figure 2).
Assessment of diseases likely to occur during the growing season provides the opportunity to utilize preventative management measures. University of Kentucky Plant Pathology Department Extension Publications webpage provides numerous publications with additional information and management options for these diseases. County Extension agents also provide information on disease diagnosis and management.
- Backyard Berry Disease Management Using Cultural Practices (with Low Spray, No Spray, & Organic Options) (PPFS-FR-S-25)
- Backyard Grape Disease Management Using Cultural Practices (with Low Spray, No Spray, & Organic Options) (PPFS-FR-T-24)
- Black Rot of Grape (PPFS-FR-S-16)
- Blueberry Root Rot (PPFS-FR-S-19)
- Disease of Fruit Crops, Ornamentals, & Hemp Facebook Page (link)
- Fruit, Orchard, and Vineyard Sanitation (PPFS-GEN-05)
- Homeowner’s guide to fungicides (PPFS-GEN-07)
- Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide (ID-232)
- Organic and Sustainable Approaches to Small Scale & Home Fruit and Vegetable Production Series (Videos)
- Organic and Sustainable Approaches to Blueberry Production (Videos)
- Phytophthora Root Rot of Brambles (PPFS-FR-S-07)
By: Kim Leonberger, Extension Associate and Nicole Ward Gauthier, Extension Plant Pathologist