How to Control Rust on Bean Plants

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If you grow bean plants, you may be aware of a potential bacterial disease known as bean rust, which causes brown, withering leaves and can lead to a loss of bean crops. The Uromyce phaseoli, or Uromyces appendiculatus, fungus causes this ailment, and it's spread when spores from infected crops are carried along the wind and land on healthy plants. Although this problem can be tough to fight, you can take preventative measures to minimize any losses, and ensure a bountiful harvest.

Things You'll Need

  • Uninfected bean seeds
  • Water
  • Plant clean, uninfected seeds to ensure that only healthy bean crops grow. If you're growing seeds from your own crops, make sure that these mature plants don't contain bean rust by searching for reddish, brown spots on the underside of the plant's leaves. Further, consider choosing rust-resistant species of bean, which include some varieties of pinto, black, great northern, red kidney and small white.

  • Arrange bean crops in wide rows that are parallel to the wind to minimize the chance of infected spores landing on healthy plants.

  • Water the ground around the bean plants in the morning, so that the leaves have a chance to dry. Any moist conditions can create an environment that is ideal to bean rust. Additionally, allow your bean crops to completely dry before you tend to them.

  • Remove any affected bean plant sections as soon as you notice problem areas to prevent other plants from being infected.

  • Clean up all plant material at the end of the growing season, and dispose of it so that it doesn't come in contact with young plants. Further, don't include any diseased plants in your compost piles, because the spores can remain in the resulting soil.

  • Implement a crop rotation schedule so that you don't grow bean plants in the same location for more than three years at a time, which results in the elimination of possible rust spores.

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