The Q&A Archives: Radish roots turn dark gray and rot

Question: Every year some of my radish roots turn dark gray and rot. What's causing this condition? Edward Rowanoki Lorain, OH

Answer: It's probably either Rhizoctonia or Fusarium root rot, says Rich Hassell, vegetable specialist at Ohio State University's Agricultural and Research Development Center in Wooster. these two common fungal diseases thrive in the moist conditions oftenpresent in spring. They have similar symptoms, so it's hard to tell exactly which disease is troubling your radishes they might have both. First the radish roots turn a dark grayish brown color and then sunken, spongy spots appear, he explains. Eventually the whole plant wilts and dies. Crop rotation that avoids cruciferous and solanaceous vegetables helps reduce the amount of fungal disease spores in the soil, says Hassell. If the problem is severe, plant root rot resistant varieties such as RedKing and Fuego, he adds.

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