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Club root concerns for vegetable growers

If you want to grow vegetables in your garden, employing someone who knows what they are doing may be beneficial, it has been suggested.

According to the Soil Association, club root can stay in the soil for many years and can cause problems for plants.

Club root is a widespread disease of brassica plants - which include cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli - and it can affect the whole of the cruciferae family.

It causes roots to become stubby and swollen and can lead to root rot, while plant growth can become stunted and leaves turn yellow.

Ben Raskin, horticultural development manager for the food and farming department at the Soil Association, said: "The best techniques for combating it are raising pH - through addition of compost and manure or lime - and a good rotation, I like to use at least a six-year rotation."

Gardeners who are specialists in building up soil fertility, liming, soil drainage, crop rotation and hygiene may be the answer to having a healthy vegetable patch.