sweet potatoes

Information on sweet potato scurvy: Scurvy of the sweet potato

Sweet potatoes provide us with a range of nutritional benefits such as vitamins A, C and B6, as well as manganese, fibre and potassium. Nutritionists and dietitians boast about the ability of sweet potatoes to help us lose weight, boost immunity, control diabetes and relieve arthritis pain. With all these health benefits, growing sweet potatoes in the home garden has become popular. However, like any other plant, growing sweet potatoes can present its own challenges. Skirmishes over sweet potato plants are perhaps the most common. Click here for information on sweet potato scurvy.

Sweet potatoes with scurvy

Sweet potato scab is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Monilochaeles infuscans . It grows and produces spores on the skin of the sweet potato. This film only affects sweet potatoes and their morning glory relatives, but does not affect other crops. For example, silver scurf, caused by Helminthosporium solani , only affects potatoes.

In addition, this fungal disease only affects the depth of the skin and does not affect the edibility of sweet potatoes. However, sweet potatoes with the skin have unsightly lesions that are purple, brown, grey and black in colour, causing consumers to turn away from these disease-looking sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato scab has also been called «ground scab». High humidity and periods of heavy rainfall contribute to the growth of this fungal disease. The scab usually spreads when sweet potatoes come into contact with other affected sweet potatoes, contaminated soil or contaminated storage boxes, etc. The scab is usually spread when the sweet potatoes come into contact with other affected sweet potatoes, contaminated soil or contaminated storage boxes, etc. The scab is usually spread when the sweet potato is in contact with other affected sweet potatoes.

Scurvy can remain in the soil for 2-3 years, especially in soils rich in organic matter. Its spores can also be airborne when infected plants are harvested or contaminated soil is cultivated. Once infection occurs, there is no treatment for sweet potato scab.

Scurvy control in a sweet potato plant

Prevention and proper sanitation are the best ways to control contamination of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes should be planted only in scab-free areas. Crop rotation is recommended to ensure that sweet potatoes are not planted in the same area within three to four years.

Boxes, baskets and other storage places for sweet potatoes must be disinfected before and after storage. Gardening tools must also be properly disinfected between uses.

Purchasing certified sweet potato seed can also help reduce the spread of scab in sweet potatoes. Whether the seed is certified or not, sweet potatoes should be carefully inspected for the presence of scab before planting.

Moistening the sweet potato roots makes the fungal disease more visible for careful inspection. Many gardeners choose to soak all the roots of the sweet potato in a fungicide solution for 1 to 2 minutes before planting as a preventative. Be sure to read all fungicide labels and follow all fungicide instructions.

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