All those black spotted leaves on your Crab tree are down; the Bee Balm with its white powdered leaves have shriveled up, as have the Garden Phlox and all their spots. It hasn’t been a bad year for fungus, but it has reared its leaf crippling head none the less.
Every year you think the next won’t be as bad as this year was; but it is. You made sure you’ve raked up all the leaves, hoping against hope that all the fungi spore were on the leaves you’ve hauled way, but the following year shows you otherwise; dandruff on the Bee Balm, and spots on your Crabs to impress a Dalmatian.
What am I doing wrong!?! You might be saying.
Possibly nothing, but more than likely, it could be this.
Just because you’ve raked up all the diseased leaves it doesn’t mean you’ve cleaned up all the fungus. It is very possible that your vigorous raking has knocked off a bunch of the fungus spores; and now they are waiting patiently for spring, and a good healthy wind to pick them up and once again rejoin them with the leaves of your trees or perennials.
I would suggest you heavily spray the ground around your problem plants with a good all-purpose fungicide. This should kill anything fungus spores hiding out. I would also do this in the spring as well.
There is no guarantee you will be fungus free, some plants are just susceptible to these parasites, but you will diminish their numbers. Do this consistently year after year and who knows, you could get the upper hand on this bane.
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