Gooseberry mildew

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Gooseberry mildew (Sphaerotheca mors-uvae). — The gooseberry mildew has prevented the general culture of the European gooseberry in America. This disease attacks the leaves, twigs and fruit. When the attack is bad it destroys the foliage, covers the fruit and causes most of it to drop. It saps the growing shoots to such an extent that they do not ripen properly, and dry up without setting fruit-buds. It thus practically destroys the crop. The disease is apparent early in the season in the web-like covering which coats the leaves, shoots and fruit. This is the mycelium from which is given off the spores which propagate this disease. It is usually noticed first in the lower and most shaded parts of the bush. When the spores are being given off, the mildew has a powdery appearance. Winter-spores are formed later which germinate in the spring. As the mycelium and spores are both on the surface it might be thought this disease could be easily controlled, but the weather conditions in this country seem so favorable to the development of spores that the gooseberry mildew spreads with great rapidity, and constant and thorough spraying is necessary to prevent it from doing so. American varieties are seldom affected by gooseberry mildew, although occasionally they are slightly attacked. Remedies: So far, there has been no good remedy for the gooseberry mildew, but the most promising remedy is the lime-sulfur wash applied first when the buds are breaking and then at intervals during the growing season. So far, the best formulas and the best times to spray have not been accurately worked out. Potassium sulphide in the proportion of one ounce to two gallons of water has controlled the mildew in some cases but to secure satisfactory results the weather must be favorable and the bushes sprayed from four to six times or more. In some cases it has been found that it is not practicable to control the mildew with this spray; furthermore under certain conditions the foliage of some varieties is injured by the spray. Bordeaux mixture when the leaf-buds are breaking and again just before blooming is a partial preventive.

Leaf-spot, rust (Septoria ribis).—The disease which causes the spotting of gooseberry leaves and their falling prematurely is the same as that which affects currants, and may be dealt with in the same way. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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