How to Control Soil-Borne Diseases

For many garden enthusiasts, nothing is more frustrating than crop loss for unknown reasons. While vigilant gardeners can closely monitor garden insect pressures, which can lead to lower yields, diagnosing loss due to invisible conditions can be more difficult. A better understanding of soil organisms and pathogens can help farmers better understand the soil conditions and the health of the garden.

What is Soil Borne Disease?

What is Soil Borne Disease?

Soil-borne diseases are mainly plant-pathogens that live in the soil with crop residues. The use of inappropriate farming such as irrigation, fertilizers, improper planting methods, and other agronomic measures can lead to soil-borne diseases. And climatic factors, such as temperature, humidity, light, etc. This leads to a rapid multiplication of the pathogen. Pathogens spread to infect the root or stem of a crop.

The cause of worsening soil diseases is the formation of a dominant population of pathogenic bacteria in the soil and a decrease in the number of useful micro-organisms.

Infectious pathogens are mainly fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, viruses, nematodes, etc.

The fungus is the main cause of soil-borne diseases. Such as fungus caused by rotting and extinct cuttings, root rot burning in the bark; Rhizoctonia caused rotting cuttings; Fusarium spores, yellow withered spores, and other causes of plant burns, bacterial wilt, burns, etc.


Diagnosing soil-borne diseases can be difficult and usually depends on a combination of the symptoms observed and prior knowledge of common diseases that may be a problem in your area. Comparing samples from a diseased plant to a healthy plant by laboratory analysis can help to identify some pathogens.

Some of the Soil Borne Diseases Symptoms include:

  • Change the color of the leaves (yellowing, black spots)
  • Discoloration of the stem (especially close to the ground)
  • Withered plants
  • Loss of strength
  • Acrobatic growth
  • Deformation of the tissue (oddly shaped leaves, floats on the stems)

Prevention of Soil-borne Diseases

How to Control Soil-Borne Diseases

There are two conditions for soil-borne diseases.

  • Number of pathogenic microorganisms;
  • Climate effects

The greatest climatic influences are temperature and humidity. When the conditions are normal, the pathogen infects the root and stem of the crop and causes disease in plants.

The control of the spread of soil-borne diseases should aim to eliminate pathogenic bacteria, reduce the source of bacteria, and suppress initial conditions.

Adopt the principle of “first prevention, second treatment, combined prevention and treatment, comprehensive strategy”.

1. Deep Plowing

The most active focus of soil pathogens was about 5 cm below the soil surface. It is also the most common area of the root system of crops, susceptible to infection with pathogenic microorganisms.
For deep plowing, turn the soil layer below 20 cm, which will significantly reduce the number of pathogenic microorganisms. Limit the occurrence of soil diseases.

2. Use Organic Products

Soil microorganisms fall into two categories, one of which is pathogenic bacteria that destroy plants and cause disease. The other is a useful bacterium that promotes the roots of rapidly growing crops; Improves soil activation, the combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

3. Soil Disinfection

Use fungicides in the soil to remove any microorganisms that may cause infections, poisonings, or side effects on plants. Sometimes steam is used to disinfect the soil and improve the control effect.

4. Select Disease-resistant Seeds

One of the cheapest and most efficient production methods is to select disease-resistant seeds that are suitable for local climate and soil conditions and use healthy, disease-resistant genes.

5. Seed Treatment

Wrap fungicides, insecticides, micronutrients, plant growth regulators, and dyes around seeds with seed treatment technology. To increase resistance to diseases, accelerate germination, promote seedlings, and increase production.

6. Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is an effective method for the subsequent planting of several plants or a combination of many vegetables in a field. The reason is that many pathogens have only one host. This is one of the effective ways to prevent soil-borne diseases.

Crop rotation is useful for pest and weed control. At the same time, the balanced use of nutrients in the soil, the improvement of the physical and chemical properties of the soil, and the regulation of soil fertility are advantageous.

Wrapping Up

Combating soil-borne diseases will be more effective and cost-effective if all the necessary information about the crop, the diseases that affect it, it’s past, the host’s resistance levels, and the prevailing environmental conditions are available. The combination of disease control methods can have an additive or synergistic effect, and this approach is particularly desirable for soil-borne diseases that are completely epidemiologically completely different. Fortunately, the current situation, which focuses on the use of integrated disease control methods, will encourage the development of non-chemical methods of disease control to combat soil pathogens more effectively.

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