Aside from being half-hardy vegetables, beetroots are also relatively free from the attacks of pests and diseases. However, it doesn’t mean they are completely invincible. Some do affect it.
Cercospora leaf spot
It is the most common disease that affects beetroots, but it’s also easily recognizable. How?
Beetroot plants affected by this disease have a conspicuous spotting. Root-knot nematodes bring about swellings in the roots, stunting the plant’s growth and deforming the shape of the roots.
Warm and wet condition is favorable to this disease. In order to avoid it, it’s best to rotate crops, allowing two to three years between beetroot planting.
However, if you have beetroot plants that are now suffering from this disease, the best way to manage it is to use registered fungicides.
Mangold Flies (Beet Leaf Miner)
When you see the leaves of your beetroot plant develop light brown blisters, then it must be suffering from Mangold Flies.
The worst that can happen is you will see red or brownish spots appear on the underside of the leaves. Then, it will turn brown completely and fall off.
Young beetroots are susceptible to this pest. They can cause considerable damage to immature leaves, feeding on under leaves and around the crown which may result to complete defoliation.
To manage this pest, make sure to find out the source of the alternate host and apply registered insecticides.
Weeds can compete for water and nutrients from beetroot plants. In effect, this can stunt your plant’s growth and productivity. As your plant grows and its leaves widen, the soil becomes shaded inadvertently giving control to weeds to germinate.
Carefully remove all weeds. Weed control has to be confined to the surface, and since beetroots have a shallow root system, getting rid of weeds can be a little tricky.
Use knife attachments or rolling cultivators to effectively get rid of weeds. You may also use registered herbicides to keep weeds away.
Aphids are sap-sucking pests that destroy the base of the leaves. In the long run, it makes the leaves of beetroots plants curl and distort new foliage. Consequently, it makes the beetroot plants less productive.
Aphids are minor pests and can easily be contained. Remove the affected parts of the leaf to keep it from spreading. Dilute insecticide and treat the plant lightly with it.
Encouraging other insects that feed on them such as ladybirds and hoverflies will also keep aphids away.
Tags: Growing Beetroot