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Thread: Soil infection

  1. #1
    Ger-annie-um is offline Sprouter
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    Default Soil infection

    We're in the process of re-building our 3 raised beds (frames rotted). I can't grow any onions or garlic in these beds because of onion white rot. We had a thought that, because we have to dig out soil in order to get the old frames out , what depth of soil we'd need to dig out in order to get rid of the infection. Anyone have any ideas?
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    bikermike is offline Cropper
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    what would you do with the soil dug out? aren't you at risk of creating a larger area of infected ground?

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    Ger-annie-um is offline Sprouter
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikermike View Post
    what would you do with the soil dug out? aren't you at risk of creating a larger area of infected ground?
    Ah, that's not a problem. We have a large patch of garden that needs soil, it only has odd shrubs in it and it will never be used for veg or alliums. We were thinking of buying in some soil for there but if we can relocate the soil from the raised beds we can use the fresh stuff on the beds. That was the plan anyway. Happy to be corrected if it's not a good idea
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    I honestly don't know the answer to your question but if I had that problem I would go down 2 spade depths which I recon would be at least, 18inches. but as I said I don't know if there is any recommendation for such work I do know that there are community gardens near by where they covered poisoned ground (industrial) with membrane then built raised beds on top of it
    it may be a struggle to reach the top, but once your over the hill your problems start.

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    Ger-annie-um is offline Sprouter
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    Thanks for responding Rary. I've done a bit more research and it appears the the sclerotia? need to be within 1 - 2 inches of the root of the alliums in order to detect them. For onions/garlic that would be around 6" deep, leeks obviously a lot deeper so your guess of 18" wouldn't be too far out. I'm going to take out 12" and mix in a lot of mpc as, apparently, the sclerotia doesn't live in mpc. I've used garlic granules at the allotment with some success so I'll use that too. I can only try..............and live in hope.
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    ameno is online now Tuber
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    In theory, the above suggested 18" should be plenty.
    However, the problem is white rot spreads very easily, and if even the tiniest bit remains, it will reinfect easily. It can persist in the soil 10-15 years, so you will have to be very careful to avoid any cross-contamination from the bed you move the soil to. All boots and tools would need to be washed before they go anywhere near any veg beds.

    I have heard some people have had good success with greatly reducing white rot infection (it's basically impossible to completely eliminate it) by digging garlic powder into the soil periodically in the first year (best applied when air temps are between 14-19c), then planting onions in the second.
    The dormant fungal bodies in the soil respond to chemicals in any allium (which are obviously in the garlic powder) and germinate, but then, finding no host, they die off. This apparently greatly reduces the level of infection in the soil, and thus the chances of infection.

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    Ger-annie-um is offline Sprouter
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    Ameno.........Good point on transference I'll be sure to remember it.

    I've used garlic (granules not powder) before with some success. You need to water it in well and, I was told, the soil temp needs to be around 15c

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    Here's a quite recent study on the effects of 'sclerotial germination stimulants' on the incidence of white rot. They trialled onion powder, garlic powder, onion oil, garlic oil and Allium waste (ground up peels of onion + garlic).

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...05844018367136

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