Delegates at September’s British Tomato Conference were brought up to date on important research into root mat, a disease that is causing significant losses in greenhouses throughout Europe. ADAS plant pathologist Dave Kaye discussed the products being trialled at two nurseries this year in AHDB work to find a biological treatment for root mat, also known as ‘crazy roots’. Last year’s laboratory trials showed that enriched biochar Biology Blend from Carbon Gold had a significant effect in suppressing the causal organism Rhizobium radiobacter – and it continues to perform in the subsequent nursery trials with tomato plants growing in coir.
Carbon Gold’s Biology Blend was applied either at propagation only or at propagation and at planting, and by late summer, disease incidence and severity had been significantly reduced in a Piccolo crop treated with Carbon Gold.
"When Carbon Gold was used both at propagation and planting, it significantly reduced the incidence of root mat disease in Piccolo tomato plants at one of the ADAS trial sites,” said Kaye.
“This shows a potential treatment for propagators of young plants in the UK and the Netherlands as a way to address root mat occurrence in the season ahead. Further tests are planned on plants being propagated in the 2018 season”.
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