Cultural & Environmental - Vegetables

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Diagnosing a plant problem when there are no apparent biotic (disease pathogen or pest) causes can present a real challenge. An abiotic plant problem is not caused by any disease organisms or insects. An accurate diagnosis, whether biotic or abiotic, involves both science, (botany, entomology and pathology) and art (strategy, investigation and decision making). Abiotic problems can be very difficult to diagnose because they include site conditions, weather and cultural practices. Below are some common abiotic or environmental problems of vegetables. Click on a title for more information.

A large percentage of plant problems are primarily caused by abiotic factors. Symptoms can mimic disease and insect problems, leading homeowners to the wrong conclusion about the cause of the problem.

ozone pollution on beans
Air pollution

blossom end rot
Blossom end rot
adventitious roots
Bumps on roots and stems
cracks on tomatoes

Flower stalks form (bolting)
phytotoxicity on beans
Foliage burn
squash cross pollination
Fruits not true to type

green shoulders
Green shoulders

herbicide damage
Herbicide damage

gray wall
Internal discoloration
tomato leaf curl
Leaf curl
watermelon planted late
Low yields-undersize fruits
pepper nutrient deficiency
Nutrient deficiency
poor taste
Off flavor/Poor eating quality

Plant falls over/Branches broken

Pollination Problems

poor pollination fruit set
Poor blossom and fruit set

tomato phosphorus deficiency
Purple leaves
malformed carrots
Root crops - Malformed
Small blisters or pustules

tip burn swiss chard

uneven ripening tomato
Uneven ripening

varietal characteristics pepper
Varietal characteristics

drought squash
Wilting - Drought or waterlogged soil

Whitened leaves

kale senescence
Yellowing leaves


Related Publicatios: 

HG 59 - IPM Series: Eggplant
HG 57 - IPM Series: Peppers
HG 76 - IPM Series: Pome Fruit
HG 55 - IPM Series: Potatoes
HG 56 - IPM Series: Tomatoes
HG 38 - Late Blight of Potato and Tomato

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