Author Topic: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?  (Read 1295 times)

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Offline Grub

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Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« on: February 01, 2017, 03:05:24 PM »
It's that mid summer time where blight, powdery mildew, black spot and everything else just explodes - especially if we get more of the rain we have forecast this week. Of course exacerbated by my own laziness not removing lower branches on the tomatoes etc. Interesting that different varieties of tomatoes seem susceptible to different diseases.

Is it worth time trying to manage disease this time of year or might it not be better to just replace plants with new ones seeing as there are a good 3 months+ of the growing season left. I often see that you should keep track of when you start getting these diseases and pre-emptively spray but I always forget to do that.

I had been using eco-fungicide, going to give kocide a go, but wondering if I should just pull the diseased plants and plant new warm season crops while I still have time left.
Cool region, Canberra. Courtyard and balcony gardener.
http://actgarden.blogspot.com/

Offline Templeton

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 05:38:33 PM »
grub,
I have had a persistent dreadful disease on tomatoes for the last 6-7 years, that slowly marches up the plants, til round this time they just give up the ghost.
But not this year!
I had a year mostly off tomatoes last year, and this season have only watered by dripper tube - i mean exclusively with drippers no hose at all.
Little sign of the disease.
I did pre-emptively remove lower leaves, and have binned anything looking even a little bit yellow. I'm going to break this disease cycle- here's hoping.
A couple of plants looked like they were getting it - Solanum pimpernellifolium actually - and although separated by 8-10 metres with other tomatoes between, were the only ones to show developing disease - i promptly binned the whole plants. Boy, did that hurt....
I wonder if you will get crops off if you replant now...
T


As for

Offline Grub

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 08:43:14 PM »
My understanding of most of these fungal diseases is that they are in the air all the time, carried by the wind, so the best you can do is treat them. It would be great if my tomatoes could ever make the frost. It's good that just a year off has reduced them enough for you to get a good crop though.

I didn't sucker prune very much or prune lower leaves and I am paying the price now. That being said the first to go really was a potted moneymaker that I did prune lower leaves of. In such a small courtyard I think the disease gets from plant to plant no matter whether they are next to each other or opposite ends of the bed (although it was foolish to plant them as close as I did). Like last year the black cherry seems especially susceptible to the black powdery fungus that dries up leaves, other plants have black spot which aren't affecting the production much and seems slow moving, or a general yellowing of leaves and growing tips.

First year of tomatoes I had some kind of disease that I haven't had since (made the leaves curl upwards, pointed) and when I cut them back to a few feet of vine they all regrew (but never produced great tomatoes, more likely due to irregular watering though). I wonder if might be worth trying this year.

That being said the disease doesn't affect the existing fruit and I have quite a lot of fruit set on all of the plants. They will continue to ripen even if the leaves are completely killed off by the disease. Best bet is probably just to use the spray to keep the plants alive long enough to ripen the fruit. Will space things out much better next year. Bummed about my lack of capsicums - thing is if I sacrifice some of the tomato plants now (the green tomatoes on them will ripen but won't taste as good) and let the capsicums have more sun I might get something off them. Alternatively I could transplant them to the corn bed which has finished - not sure how such mature plants would take to being transplanted though. Probably better I don't do that. All these hot days make it hard to get out and work on the garden, I am limited to early morning. I got lot of cucumbers over the last few weeks but the spider mites are eventually winning and my best combat for them, hosing them off, will only spread the powdery mildew faster. Very disappointed in the zucchini this year (bees are avoiding the flowers perhaps because they just prefer others, perhaps because there are always ants in there). Some new species of ant has taken up in my garden too, black and about half the size of a bull ant. They've been on everything - I think they feed on the pollen and nectar, don't seem to be farming aphids, but would deter the good pollinators. I should try a different brand of ant sand.

I think the drippers help except for when it rains heavily. I mulched with decaying oak tree leaves which probably contained a lot of fungal spores. I am sick of buying pea straw hay and I think it carries powdery mildew anyway.
Cool region, Canberra. Courtyard and balcony gardener.
http://actgarden.blogspot.com/

Offline Templeton

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 10:29:28 PM »
The more seasons i grow them the less I know about fungi diseases of tomatoes - a mystery of the universe...
T

Offline donnyboy

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 09:37:57 AM »
Very disappointed in the zucchini this year (bees are avoiding the flowers perhaps because they just prefer others, perhaps because there are always ants in there).

Hey grub, I've had a great year with zucchini. 3 plants have given us more zucchini than we'd care to eat. I have been getting out early morning an manually pollinating any open female flowers. Varieties I'm growing are Black Beauty, Lebanese, and Tromboncino Squash. The Black Beauty has been the most productive and the Tromboncino the least productive.

Offline Templeton

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 12:03:48 PM »
Donny, the tromboncino is often a later season producer. It is after all a pumpkin eaten as a zucchini.
T

Offline donnyboy

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 12:27:31 PM »
Donny, the tromboncino is often a later season producer. It is after all a pumpkin eaten as a zucchini.
T

Hey T, that makes sense. It has only really started to throw out females in the last week or so. Didn't know it was a pumpkin. I have trained it to grow up a tomato cage.

Offline Templeton

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 07:02:29 PM »
I hope the tomato cage is next to a paddock or a neighbour's fence...
T

Offline Grub

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 10:15:56 PM »
Weird thing is only about 1/3rd of the zucchini I manually pollinated set fruit.

I removed all the corn today (except for a runty one that I will let dry on the vine hoping to harvest its seeds). I planted the crookneck seedling I had in that bed, as well as some basil. A bit of an afterthought but nowhere else to put it and I am desperate for some squash. I have two sweet dumpling squash that set (both manually pollinated) and hoping for more before disease ruins the plants.
Cool region, Canberra. Courtyard and balcony gardener.
http://actgarden.blogspot.com/

Offline Grub

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2017, 08:39:43 AM »
I have started a few new cucumber seedlings and meanwhile cut all diseased leaves from the cucumber and it's producing some good looking new leaves, flowers and baby cucumbers way at the end of the vine. Worth keeping in mind that plants want to reproduce and often have a will to live that is impressive. I'm hoping the gourds will also follow suit. I have a large population now of "spider mite destroyer" tiny black ladybugs but there are always more spider mites.

Tomatoes also have new flowers and new growth out the top above the disease spread. Keeps raining or threatening to rain so it's hard to keep up with regular antifungal sprays. It's not pretty but not they are annuals so as long as they are still producing there's no reason to pull them, it's a long time until next season.
Cool region, Canberra. Courtyard and balcony gardener.
http://actgarden.blogspot.com/

Offline Templeton

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 07:44:42 AM »
A copper spray seems to have slowed down my tomato disease spread, along with vigilant infected leaf removal.
I've put in some new beans, next to the old mite infested old beans. finally got round to doing a bit more in the garden yesterday, and rather than pull the mitey beans out and spread the mites everywhere, i got out the weed burner (an otherwise useless piece of equipment) and torched the whole trellis of beans. Take that spider mites!  +++  .
I'm pretty sure the beans aren't going to resprout...


hmmm maybe i should have checked for good bugs first - oops
T

Offline Grub

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Re: Fungus and mould, worth combatting?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2017, 04:13:38 PM »
I think one lot of tomatoes has black fungus and still have healthy new growth at the tips and some out the side, and other tomatoes have maybe a bacterial disease instead (yellowing leaves, shrivelling flowers) so these aren't producing anymore. I did plant out two seedlings even though it's pretty late in the season for Canberra, as well as some new beans. I think the kocide (copper) is working a bit better than the eco-fungicide. It worked well for the blueberries too.

The tiny black ladybugs are actually beating back the spider mites and breeding like crazy. I just hope their eggs or larvae or whatever it is last over season so I don't have to wait for them to fly in next year. So sparing the soap sprays and using mostly just water to hose off the spider mites has paid off hopefully in the form of a predator population.
Cool region, Canberra. Courtyard and balcony gardener.
http://actgarden.blogspot.com/