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Old December 24, 2018   #1
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 40
Default Cause of brassicas and onions to turn yellow in winter and die?

Last winter I had a ton of brassicas planted out in the fall as well as onions. A bed of rutabaga started to turn yellow and then the leaves yellowed and died basically. It spread from bed to bed. I thought maybe it was fusarium. But I was doing some more research and read that fusarium is rarely a problem in winter in FL due to the cold. I live in north Georgia so it's certainly colder here.

Any idea what in the world would damage and kill my brassicas and onions? And in the winter? The plants were not crowded. I had never had anything kill my brassicas before. I started all of the plants from seed myself. I haven't grown another brassica since then. :/

I had been thinking we had fusarium. But this past spring whatever we have killed all the tomatoes. BUT all the potatoes were gorgeous and healthy and produced well. And the peppers were all nice and healthy and productive. I just can't figure out what the diseases I'm dealing with are. And then I ended up sick this spring and my husband and kids ended up doing most of the gardening this year so i really wasn't on top of figuring it out.
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Old December 24, 2018   #2
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 40

I should add that normally growing these things in the winter they are all healthy and gorgeous. I was also really careful to research varieties. It was definitely disease not just the cold weather.
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Old December 24, 2018   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,584

Strange to lose brassicas and onions as well - more than one cause?
Did you use some manure or other amendment on both of them?

Yellowing turnip or brassica leaves, we will always suspect and look for clubroot first. Cabbage maggot on the roots is another possibility.
Our ag people advise not to use manure from animals that were fed with diseased material, as it can be spread that way.
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Old January 1, 2019   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alabama
Posts: 6,714

I have had both die from too much rain in cold weather. Actually I am having some of that this year due to the unending rainfall we have been having. This may be the worst fall/winter I have ever had. Only things that are growing half way decent are my rutabagas and collards. My broccoli, mustard greens, and cauliflower are only about one third normal size or smaller despite nearly perfect temperatures for them to do well; but the rain amounts have been far above normal in both frequency and amounts. The plants are so pitiful looking that I haven't even set up hoops to protect them if it turns really cold. If it does I am going to just let them freeze since there isn't really much to lose.

I have some new plants growing to set out to replace them but they aren't looking too good either since they have been set out to harden off they have been subjected to the torrential down pours as well. I sure hope spring and summer are better this year than fall and winter have been.

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Old January 2, 2019   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,847

Fungus gnats? The larvae in the soil stunt the roots, and the plant limps along sickly, yellow. If the potatoes were planted in an area that didn't have them, but the tomatoes did, it could account for what thrived and what died. Put out yellow sticky traps and see if tiny black or white things collect on them.
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Old January 3, 2019   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Augusta area, Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 1,047

Fortunately I've never experienced anything like that. I'm inclined to side with Bill on the "too much water" thing. This has been the wettest winter I can remember in a long while and possibly the raised beds in the garden are helping to keep plant feet as dry as they can get in this wet weather.

Give your extension person a call. You might not have a garden this winter but lots of other folks up your way do and have been just deluged this winter. If it's a rain-related thing, they might be reporting problems like yours to the extension office.
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