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Do your daisies need a doctor?

By Janna Beckerman, Jennifer Love and Elizabeth Wiggins

Are you looking for a doctor to diagnose your daisies? Perhaps you are wondering if your cucumber needs a cure for the crud? The Plant Pathology staff at the Yard and Garden Clinic is excited to unveil two new additions to the Plant Disease Diagnostics web pages (http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/diagnostics/) designed to help you diagnose vegetable and bedding plant disease.

The Plant Disease Diagnostics web page guides users through the process of plant disease diagnosis. Categories are divided into: Bedding Plants, Fruit, Roses, Shrubs and Vines, Trees, Turf and Vegetables. After clicking on a category, you begin by identifying the host plant that is affected. By identifying the host, you can narrow down the possible problems affecting your plant. Can't identify your host plant? We've provided links to help you in that process, too! With the latest addition of two new categories, Bedding Plants and Vegetables, you can now access information to help you diagnose these disease problems. New host plants will continue to be added, so we encourage you to check back with us soon if you don't currently find what you're looking for. Of course, the Yard and Garden Clinic (612-624-4771/ 888-624-4771) is available to assist you in this process.

A Primer for the Plant Disease Diagnostics Web Page After clicking on the name of the host, the next step is to determine which part of the plant appears to be affected (leaves, flowers, stems or roots). This links you to a page that provides photographs of common disease problems, and descriptions about the symptoms. This page is designed to help you match the problems you are seeing with a specific disease.

Once a particular disease is diagnosed by matching it to the picture provided, clicking on that images links you to more information about that disease problem. Additional information and photos are provided regarding the causal agent, lifecycle of the pathogen, how the disease over-winters and causes new infections, and how the disease can be managed. Management suggestions include disease resistant cultivars, cultural practices designed to minimize disease and pesticides labeled for chemical management. There are also links for additional information from other websites. In addition to plant diseases, the web pages also offer information on other causes of plant problems including deer damage, herbicide injury, and other weather-related conditions.

Early diagnosis of plant disease problems is the most critical step in managing plant pathogens and minimizing their impact. These web pages were created to assist home gardeners and nursery professionals diagnose plant diseases and manage them effectively. However, don't rely on a single text or website. Consult the University of Minnesota Yard and Garden Clinic when in doubt. Remember, without an accurate diagnosis, you cannot proceed to the next step, and any management strategy that you develop will fail.

Crystal Floyd and Chad Behrendt originally developed the Plant Disease Diagnostics web site in 1999. Plant Pathologist Janna Beckerman has maintained and updated the site since 2001, with new pages being developed by her and plant pathology technicians Jennifer Love and Elizabeth Wiggins.

Please check out the new diagnostics web pages at http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/diagnostics/

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