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I've got some problems with my young kale, pak kana ผักคะน้า. Looking at them I wondering if it's a root fungus or an insect problem. Does anyone have any ideas? Cheers in advance.

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Looks more like insect chewing....go out at night 2 AM - 4AM with flashlight....you might see large Snails chewing them up. The big Snails in my garden decimate everything at ground level...I have to use either raised beds or put them in rounded pots which they have a problem climbing into....

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The stunted and deformed new growth appears to be a fungal disease and/or nutrient deficiency problem, more so than a pest.  But I am unable to zoom in on your photos for a closer look.  There are some chunks gone out of leaves, but I don't think that is a primary problem.  Nutrient deficiencies create susceptibility to disease. 

 

My wife and I have grown pak kana in two locations in Thailand and in California and have not had this problem. It is one of the easiest and least problematic veggies that I have grown.  But I always go all out at soil preparation, with soil testing and complete nutrient building and balancing. 

 

Other, more experienced growers here may have specific information for you. But my suggestion is to address the possibility of soil borne fungal disease with an immediate drench with EM or another biological fungicide like trychoderma h. And use a COF (complete organic fertilizer) to build soil fertility.  Organic Totto has both, a high quality EM and a good bokashi fertilizer.  https://www.organictotto.com/  They are also on FB and LINE. I have no business association with this company, but I have used their excellent products. 

 

If you are growing commercially with a large garden, then consider contacting my friends at bonemeal dot net for soil testing and organic farming bulk materials supply. 

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3 minutes ago, tonray said:

Looks more like insect chewing....go out at night 2 AM - 4AM with flashlight....you might see large Snails chewing them up. The big Snails in my garden decimate everything at ground level...I have to use either raised beds or put them in rounded pots which they have a problem climbing into....

May be part of it, but look at the new growth coming out, not chewed, but severely deformed. Better close ups would help. 

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18 minutes ago, drtreelove said:

May be part of it, but look at the new growth coming out, not chewed, but severely deformed. Better close ups would help. 

The soil is <deleted>, landfill, but I added soil from one of the soil bags used for seedlings, and I've sprayed the soil with julinseesang khrosaeng จุลินทรีย์สังเคราะห์แสง . The vegetables in the next beds have no problem as you can see in the photos. I hope these offer better close-ups. I've tried to deter snails with eggshells and an organic insect deterrent.

Thanks for all your prompt advice folks, this really is a helpful forum.

 

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I used some of that "seeding mix" soil a few months ago and everything planted in it suffered from damping off. Got up to a few leaves and then rotted away. I believe the soil bags contained some fungal nasty. I would support Dr,T's advice to use a tricodermia to fix the fungal problem. I doubt EM or what appears in your photos to be photosynthetic bacteria (in the soda bottles) will fix it, however neither would do any harm to get the soil biology improved.

Keep us informed how you get on as this is a major issue here in Isaan.

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"I've tried to deter snails with eggshells..."  I just read a Myth Busters article on eggshells that says this is not effective and not the same as diatomaceous earth just because the ground eggshells look the same.

" and an organic insect deterrent."  key word being "insect", which of course snails and slugs are not. May or may not be effective. 

 

https://www.lazada.co.th/products/diatomaceous-earth-neem-65-g-i442962505-s819062085.html

 

https://www.learningwithexperts.com/gardening/blog/organic-slugs-snails-control

 

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/insects/organic-snail-control.htm

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Here is an example of the trichoderma biofungicide that  IssanAussie suggested.  This one I found in an ag shop across from MaeJo U near Chiang Mai. 

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Looking at the new pics....not snail damage...but something else chewing the leaves...probably small caterpillars. But as an experiment try to plant some and if you have any copper tape make a collar around the plants. Try to test with and without...copper will deter the snails. As far as the fungus...again plant 1 with old soil in ground, 1 with old soil in pot, and 1 with new soil in ground. 1 with new soil in pot and see if there is a difference in how they respond. Using my old IT troubleshooting skills...eliminate possibilities one by one.

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12 hours ago, tonray said:

As far as the fungus...again plant 1 with old soil in ground, 1 with old soil in pot, and 1 with new soil in ground. 1 with new soil in pot and see if there is a difference in how they respond. Using my old IT troubleshooting skills...eliminate possibilities one by one.

This is good methodology, but I think we already know that "The soil is <deleted>, landfill..." is the root of the problem in this and a large percentage of the plant problems in Thailand. Where it's not new construction landfill for landscaping, then it's leached out aged clay rice and other crop lands where product has been taken off and soil fertility has not been restored. 

 

I have been involved with the owners at bonemeal.net who are doing soil testing for farmers and orchard owners in many regions of Thailand, and I've seen several of the soil test reports and the Rx recommendations being done by a top agronomist.  It's a sad picture of how extremely nutrient-deficient the soil is in most farms and orchards.  

 

Soil fertility and water management are the primary keys to plant health and resistance to pests and diseases, productivity and quality of products. 

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12 hours ago, drtreelove said:

This is good methodology, but I think we already know that "The soil is <deleted>, landfill..." is the root of the problem in this and a large percentage of the plant problems in Thailand. Where it's not new construction landfill for landscaping, then it's leached out aged clay rice and other crop lands where product has been taken off and soil fertility has not been restored. 

 

I have been involved with the owners at bonemeal.net who are doing soil testing for farmers and orchard owners in many regions of Thailand, and I've seen several of the soil test reports and the Rx recommendations being done by a top agronomist.  It's a sad picture of how extremely nutrient-deficient the soil is in most farms and orchards.  

 

Soil fertility and water management are the primary keys to plant health and resistance to pests and diseases, productivity and quality of products. 

Yeah...my property is pretty much all heavy clay...need to improve any area before planting with sand, peat, and topsoil before any success. The clay is actually so thick as this MooBaan was a reclaimed lotus farm...when you bring these chunks to the surface and they dry in the sun...they turn into bricks. 

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13 hours ago, tonray said:

Yeah...my property is pretty much all heavy clay...need to improve any area before planting with sand, peat, and topsoil before any success. The clay is actually so thick as this MooBaan was a reclaimed lotus farm...when you bring these chunks to the surface and they dry in the sun...they turn into bricks. 

You are not alone. Rice farms and lotus ponds are din niew, heavy clay sticky soil that doesn't drain. Many moobaans have imported clayey subsoil fill to raise the grade. To improve this type of clay soil can be a major project with expensive imported amendments or hard-to-find quality topsoil. Figuring out how to go about it economically is the challenge.  When we lived and farmed in Chiang Mai we scavenged composting materials, organic matter and manures wherever we could find it. Rice hulls and straw, ground coco husks, donkey and horse manure from the Army pack squadron, race horse manure from the race track stables, etc. We also grew green manure crops with free bean seeds from the Land Development Dept. 

 

Soil testing and prescription amendments is best, but some people's budget won't permit.

 
Gypsum isn't the answer for all situations, nor is it a total fix, but it can be an important and economical soil amendment, and is an excellent component for improving clayey soils.

"Gypsum Improves Soil Structure. Gypsum provides calcium which is needed to flocculate clays in soil. It is the process in which many individual small clay particles are bound together to give much fewer but larger particles. Such flocculation is needed to give favorable soil structure for root growth and air and water movement. (1)"

https://www.usagypsum.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/AMI-tech-general.pdf

 

(Finding good quality gypsum can be a challenge. I bought some from LDK in CM that was brown and full of hard lumps that had to be broken and screened.)

I don't have any financial interest in the sale of products from bonemeal.net, but they are an up and coming valuable resource for farmers, especially for bulk materials and soil test based amendment recommendations. I have used their products and I trust the quality and business practices. Their soil test based amendment recommendations are now being done by Michael Astera, author of "The Ideal Soil, A Handbook for the New Agriculture" www.soilminerals.com

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