Vegetable Varieties & Disease Resistance
Using varieties that have disease resistance and/or tolerance to certain weather conditions is a helpful tool for vegetable production, especially if you don’t plan to use pesticides. Look for letters printed after the variety name when choosing varieties. These indicate the type of resistance, such as BCM for bean common mosaic virus or F for fusarium wilt. Resistance does not mean the plant is never going to have the disease but that it is less likely to succumb to it. Note that plants under stress due to improper cultural conditions (wet soils or hot humid weather, for example) are more susceptible to disease.
Environmental conditions influence disease frequency and risk in gardens. Consider the weather conditions and diseases typical in your garden. If rust disease appears frequently on your beans, then look for a variety with resistance to rust. Some varieties focus on one disease while others offer resistance to multiple.
Some disease resistance for commonly grown vegetables include:
Bean Common Mosaic Virus (BCM)
Powdery Mildew (PM)
Other Viruses (VI)
Black Rot (BR)
Downy Mildew (DM)
Black Rot (BR)
Fusarium Yellows (YR)
Plant breeders have also developed vegetable varieties resistant to bacterial soft rot (BSR), anthracnose (A), angular leaf spot (ALS), bacterial wilt (BW), cumber mosaic virus (CMV), and northern corn leaf blight (NCLB). Additional resistant cultivar information is available in Vegetable Cultivars for Kentucky Gardens. Pick up a copy of this publication at the Extension office or online: www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id133/id133.pdf
Written by Michael Boice, Oldham County Horticulture Assistant, and edited by Lauren Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Program Assistant.