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Sclerotinia is defined as the fungus family of the Ascomycetes division. This family of fungi may be able to lead an independent life but much more often it prefers to parasitize higher plants and causes rot, cancer and other so-called morbid manifestations in host plants.
The disease caused by this type of fungus is commonly called sclerotia.
In many vegetables the scelrotinia manifests itself with cottony clusters that wrap around the root and collar of the plants but also hard and black bubbles (in the cases of beans, melon, potatoes, cabbage or lettuce); for these and for the cases related to tubers often preserved in cellars or similar places, the family of infesting fungus is that of the sclerotiorum.
It is instead trifoliorum in the case of sclerozio of leguminous plants (peas, broad beans, alfalfa ...) and in that of the clover. The sclerotina minor instead takes its name from the small size of the sclerotia it produces and is the one that attacks salads, tomatoes, asparagus but also celery and carrots.
In addition to the larger ones there are less known branches of morbid fungi: the cinerea mainly attacks the plants of the Dupraceae family, the sclerotina fructigena concentrates on the pomaceae while the apricots are attacked by the laxa.
Some imperfect forms of sclerotinia instead they cause the withering of the flowers but also the appearance of cancerous lesions and the mummification of fruits. This specific disease is called jewelery because it is caused by sclerotinia Monilia.
This mushroom is multiplied above all in the presence of spring and summer climates characterized by high humidity.


The absolute most effective method is to constantly monitor the plants and, as soon as you notice the initial symptoms of the parasite (white and cottony mold, black and hard bubbles, rot or withering of the flowers) a pruning with nippers or scissors is necessary. through a clean and oblique cut. It is essential to sterilize the tools used for pruning both before and after having removed the diseased part of the plant. In addition to the tools, it is also necessary to disinfect the hands before touching other healthy plants. Once pruned, the branches or parts of the plant removed but also the parts that have fallen near other trees, will be collected and burned completely: in fact this fungus can survive independently in the ground and recur to infest other plants as soon as the weather conditions return to be favorable. Even in the case of blubi and tubers the only useful solution to eliminate sclerotinia is to burn them.
To be even more sure of having completely eradicated the parasite, plants can be treated with copper-based pesticides, available in specialized stores. For those who love DIY, instead, just mix copper sulphate, lime and water and brush with the brotholese mixture so obtained the shafts of the trees.


To prevent sclerotinia, just put some tricks and some preventive measures into practice:
- avoid standing water (always mix the soil well to promote drainage)
- do not leave the damp soil for too long (therefore prefer the morning irrigations so as to leave the sun all day long to dry the earth)
- do not forget to carry out periodic weeding of the soil with a rake or a weeder (by removing the soil, pests will be eliminated and a clean environment will be maintained, making it more difficult not only for sclerotinia but for all parasites in general)
- avoid too frequent fertilizations
- prefer and be sure to use organic fertilizers that are well mature for fertilization


the homeocarpa (also referred to as the dollar spot for the characteristic shape reminiscent of the coin) is the most frequent sclerotinia of turf.
It manifests itself with increasingly extensive yellowing that becomes chronic over time, assuming irregular circular shapes that will attack the totality of the turf.
reddish margin of the leaf lamina and cottony mold that attacks the roots are other useful clues for the correct diagnosis.
To combat this parasite it is necessary:
- carry out adequate nitrogen fertilization
- avoid too frequent and sparse cuts
- avoid excessive watering (avoid high water stresses especially during the drier periods)
- avoid compacting the turf
- eliminate dew from the leaves
- favor ventilation through soil coring
- limit and if possible avoid completely the gray areas
In the case of an attack, the best defense remains the chemical one with pesticides that use the active ingredient of propiconazole or iprodione. The treatment will be administered to the grassy chin once every fifteen or twenty days throughout the year following the onset of the disease.


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