Late blight is a fast-spreading airborne fungus that can destroy a tomato or potato crop in just days. Fortunately, there are a number of effective fungicides available, but prevention and diligence are still vital to keeping the disease from affecting your crop.
Resistant cultivars do not exist, so control of Pythium depends on a variety of tactics. Crops should be planted on raised beds in well-drained soils. Pre-plant soil fumigation is effective if applied correctly.
In tomato, potato, and pepper, infection typically starts at flowering. Water-soaked spots are usually the first symptom, which is followed by invasion of the stem, girdling, and death of the upper part of the stem that turns a light gray.
Broad mites (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) can be a major problem on pepper in Florida. This species has a worldwide distribution and can affect a large number of hosts including vegetables such as basil, eggplant, green beans, potato, and a variety of fruits and ornamental plants.
The cabbage webworm is one of a number of insects that feed exclusively on and affect cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and other crucifers. It is easily recognized. Cabbage webworm eggs are flattened in shape and are usually laid singly or in small masses on the terminal leaves. The eggs are gray or yellowish green turning pink as they near hatching.
In the past, stinkbugs were considered a minor problem whose numbers were kept in check by insecticide applications targeted at other pests. Stinkbugs have become a greater problem in recent years largely due to the move away from broad-spectrum insecticides to more pest specific biorational products.
The yellowmargined leaf beetle is a particular problem on Chinese cabbage and other leafy brassicas in the Glades, especially for organic growers. Most damage occurs in the spring when both the larvae and adults are found feeding on crucifers, where they feed on the foliage and leaf margins, making small holes.