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Re: BD Now! Help with tomato leaf spot

Good advice, Allan.

Wish I could say I'm up on mulching all my tomatoes.

An observation.  With some old hay and straw on hand, I mulched
one bed.  Now, about three weeks later, I can see noticeable
differences in the one bed that did get mulched vs the three other
beds planted the same exact day.  The plants under mulch are
happier.  The leaves stand up and they spread out.   The mulch
buffers both dry and wet periods. I'm working towards mulching the
other beds.  The lesson to me is that it is an investment / planning task
up front to have sufficient mulch on hand right away at the planting
stage, as Allan suggests.
By the way, Steve Groff who practices no-till vegetable
production on quite a few acres.....  20-30 acres and upwards,
uses the cover crop reside as an in-situ mulch. In Pennsylvania
where he lives, they use disease forecasting models to predict
early blight infection periods.  Groff explained that due to his
mulch, which eliminates soil splashing onto the tomato leaves,
he was able to bypass the first 6-7 recommended fungicide
sprays for growers in his area.
EM - Effective Microorganisms has lactobacillus which
is powerful disease fighter on the leaf surface.

Hydrogen peroxide has also been applied to tomatoes
leaves for early blight et al.
The new generation biopesticides include a few hopeful
products.... such as Serenade a Bacillus subtilis strain and
a neem-based fungicide called Trilogy and a rosemary oil
extract called Sporan  .. the OMRI list has details and manufacturers.

Cool..... see this list of organic pesticides, OMRI listed, at
Cornell University::

Steve Diver

Allan Balliett wrote:

We might be talking about a different fungus, but my experience is that if tomatoes are never subjected to splash-up from the soil, they don't get this fungus (or 'blight'). This means don't leave them in flats on the ground before planting and dont' water them as seedlings in a way that splashes up on them. And mulch them the moment they are planted with 4-6 inches of straw or hay. Equesitum has never remediated this problem for me. I don't think it is the type of fungal disease that equesitum is effective on. (It works by making the soil 'less unattractive' to the fungus, keeping it in the soil and off the plant. I really think these blight-type funguses like to be on the plant and have no intention of staying in the soil, no matter how much 508 you spray. But what do I know?))

For the past three years, my tomatoes have gotten what I believe is Septoria leaf spot (fungus, I think). Starting at the bottom, the leaves develop brown spots, turn yellow then brown and crispy, and eventually fall off. By the end of the season, the plants look like grape vines! Strangely enough (or maybe not) the volunteer tomato plants in various locations are not affected, yet.

I've been told that equisetum is more of a preventive and won't stop disease that's already underway. Is this true, or is it worth a shot now? I've just noticed the first spots starting to develop on the lower leaves (on the plants the hornworms didn't devour while I was on vacation, anyway).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you,

Nicole in Kentucky

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