It is very likely that on more than one occasion you have heard of septoria or septoria , especially if you know people with wheat or other cereal plantations or someone who is very fond of gardening, horticulture or agriculture in general. It is a fungal disease that should be well known to avoid losses of crops and plants.
In this article we are going to talk about what septoria is and how to combat and prevent it . If you want to learn more about septoria, join us in this gardening guide and you will see how you can keep it away from your crops and plants.
What is septoria
As we have said, septoria is a disease that commonly attacks many varieties of wheat. In fact, wheat septoria is the most important disease of this cereal in many areas of the world. However, although the greatest damage is caused in wheat, it does not affect only this: barley, oats and some other grasses are also susceptible to being attacked by the different types of septoria .
It is a fungal-type disease , produced by a pathogen of the Mycosphaerellaceae family. Its symptoms are the spots that it leaves on branches and leaves in which it develops, which end up necrotizing. They begin as dark green spots, turning yellow and finally brown.
In wheat crops it can be devastating, being able to spoil up to 40% of the crops due to its rapid development and multiplication capacity. When the disease progresses, the spots on the leaves and branches or stems spread rapidly throughout the plant, causing it to grow significantly more slowly and lengthening its flowering phase, even in some cases even dying.
How to combat septoria
If fungi appear in the crop, the first measure you should take to combat septoria is to limit the humidity to no more than 50%, since high levels of humidity favor their development and spread.
For the same reason, the volume of irrigation must be controlled , which should be reduced to only those strictly necessary. In this sense, it is completely discouraged to water or spray in the 3 hours before dark. If not, moisture can condense on the leaves overnight and lead to mold growth.
Another necessary measure is to control the temperature of the culture during the night hours. It is convenient that the thermal variation between day and night does not exceed 5 ºC, so that the plant has energy to recover at night without having to deal with temperature variations. To help with this, watering with room temperature water also reduces heat stress on plants.
If you have already detected symptoms of Septoria in your plants, one of the best things you can do without resorting to chemicals is to prepare a decoction of horsetail diluted in 4 parts of water for each part of the decoction. Apply it on the ground and on the leaves of the affected plants, as well as those near them. Repeat the application every 15 days until it is clear that there is no fungal infection. Here you can learn more homemade fungicides that are totally natural.
In spite of everything, if the disease is widespread or in a very advanced stage, you probably have no choice but to resort to chemical products and treatments.
How to prevent septoria
Preventing the onset of a disease is always easier than treating it. However, it is easy to make the mistake of relaxing and not worrying about the problem until it appears. If you want to get healthy with your wheat, barley or other planting, the best thing you can do is take these measures even if you don’t see any symptoms of septoria in the crop .
To prevent fungus on plants , again, a great option is to prepare an infusion of horsetail and mix it with four parts of water. This method is totally ecological and natural, and spraying the plants with this solution will help reduce the chances of the fungus appearing. Of course, do not apply the infusion until the third week of plant growth.
You can also space the distance between plants . The closer they are, the less the air will circulate, favoring the appearance of mold and other fungi. In addition, the disease spreads more quickly by plants that are stuck together. For this reason, keep the grow space as clean as possible, free of dry leaves or dead vegetation. This last advice is valid not only against septoria, but against the vast majority of pests and diseases.