The fungi responsible for take all disease, Gaeumannomyces graminis, is found in the soil. It enters young plant roots and can often be seen as dying patches in a lawn or field.
Take all disease symptoms
The fungus enters the xylem and blocks the flow of water, causing stunting, yellowing, and reduced tillering. Tillering refers to the way lateral shoots emerge from the base of the stem, a common growth style of cereals. Infected plants mature faster than normal and have bleached seed heads and blackened roots and crowns.
Preventing take all disease
There are no effective chemical treatments against take all disease available to gardeners. There is a seed treatment that shows promise, so be sure to get certified disease-free seeds from reputable suppliers. Excessive liming and nutrient imbalances exacerbate this disease. If take all disease appears in your lawn, there isn’t much you can do besides improving drainage. If it appears in your barley, corn, millet, rice, sorghum, triticale, or wheat, the best thing you can do is rotate crops. Oats and rye, while cereal grains, are not susceptible to take all disease.
Take all disease can build up in the soil, particularly in monoculture crops that are grown in the same place year after year.
There is one soil amoeba that feeds on the take all disease fungi. This unique protozoa is a type of vampyrellid. Vampyrellids are affectionately known as soil vampires because of the way they leave puncture marks in their victims.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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