Lmcirig
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Updated! -- How to prevent last years fungal soil diseases

Last year I had a variety of what seemed to be fungal diseases from the start. My cucumbers didn't get very far before they rotted they started turning black & deformed. My tomatoes developed blight. :( This was all a first for me - I've never had this problem in the garden before. I'm thinking it might have been caused by something I added to the soil - called sweet peet. It's an organic mulch. But of course I really can't be sure of the cause.

So I'm really worried about putting my garden down this year. I will of course remove all the old plants. But is there something else I can do? I read that a milk solution will help prevent some fungal diseases. But that's not until after there are actual plants. Is there anything I can put into the soil to help fight off any disease that might just be waiting for me to plant?

I did notice a strage growth in the garden last week when I was starting to clean things up. I'll take a picture, but it seemed like a fungus that has started growing all along the top of my garden.

Any advice would be really appreciated! I'd even be willing to give the garden a rest for a year if needed.
Last edited by Lmcirig on Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~Lisa

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rainbowgardener
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I haven't tried it, but logically it seems that the milk solution might be useful preventatively as a soil drench. Some blights and wilts and other fungal problems do over winter in the soil. Another thing is to be sure once everything is growing to lay down a good amount of mulch, so that soil isn't splashing up on your plants. Then you can use the milk solution on the plants, preventatively, without waiting for disease to show up.
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ThomasCA
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"I will of course remove all the old plants."

I'm a little worried about this comment. You haven't removed the old diseased plants yet? or left them after they were identified with being 'infected' until now?

Leaving diseased plants in the ground could make the planting area unusable, as it can become infected with the diseases, and can be passed down to anything else planted in that particular spot (or vicinity). If this is the case, I think it would take a few years for that soil to "heal".

In addition, it can spread and possibly contaminate other areas that may have not shown signs of disease or fungus in the past.

There are additives on the market that are supposed assist soils with possible disease or fungal contaminations, but those can vary with their results, as it can only do so much. It really depends on how 'bad' the area is...your milage may vary.

dirtyfingers
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We had bad luck with our eggplants last season so this season we kept the new ones in large plastic pots and they are doing very well. Some of our other veggies aren't doing so well also so we will probably turn everything over and rest the garden for awhile. We try to do everything organically with earthworm casings from our compost bins and other organic materials.

Lmcirig
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ThomasCA wrote:"I will of course remove all the old plants."

I'm a little worried about this comment. You haven't removed the old diseased plants yet? or left them after they were identified with being 'infected' until now?
I did remove all the infected plants last year when I found out they were infected. I meant anything I might find when I'm working the soil.
~Lisa

Lmcirig
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Link to image!!

I forgot to bring the memory card with me here to upload pics.

Upon further inspection, the "growth" on my garden floor looks like what may have been hatched eggs everywhere - coming up from the ground. Loks just like this, but more widespread and on the ground...

https://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/image.asp?image=Pest1589.jpg

Any ideas what it might be??
~Lisa

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soil
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i would go with regular spraying's of aerated compost tea, starting from when they are just put out or even before. mulch well to prevent spores from splashing up from the topsoil.
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kimbledawn
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Are you sure it isn't this?

https://www.austinbug.com/larvalbugbio/birdsnestfungi.html

We have a type of this fungus that pops up in our garden.
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

Lmcirig
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kimbledawn wrote:Are you sure it isn't this?

https://www.austinbug.com/larvalbugbio/birdsnestfungi.html

We have a type of this fungus that pops up in our garden.
It looks similar, but I think the "nest" is empty for the most part. But it is growing from a heavily mulched garden. It's been a few days & if you zoom in on some of the pictures, you can see that they're green at the bottom now.



[img]https://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr156/LMCIRIG/_MG_0396.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr156/LMCIRIG/_MG_0395.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr156/LMCIRIG/_MG_0394.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr156/LMCIRIG/_MG_0393-1.jpg[/img]
~Lisa

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kimbledawn
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I wouldn't worry about it then. We have all types of fungi popping up. I just let them be. I would follow the other poster's suggestions and use compost tea in that part of the garden. Good luck :D
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

Lmcirig
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Thanks so much! You don't think this will harm the vegetables then?
~Lisa

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kimbledawn
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The fungi feeding on the debri in the soil won't. . Just take preventative measure for blight, etc.
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

Charlie MV
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Could someone describe how to mix up a milk solution? Please and thank you.

cynthia_h
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OK, Charlie, only because I love your posts and we both hate squirrels. :lol:

10% milk solution: pour 1 oz. milk (= 2 Tbsp.) into a spray bottle. Pour 9 oz. water (= 1 cup + 2 Tbsp.) into the same spray bottle. Shake so as to mix thoroughly. If you have plain yogurt on hand, add anywhere from 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. plain yogurt to the milk/water mix. Wait 1 hour, for the lactobacillus organisms in the yogurt to proliferate. Then take the spray bottle outside and spray this mixture on the surfaces of the leaves and stems of plants affected with powdery mildew or other fungal conditions.

50% milk solution: pour equal amounts of milk and water into the spray bottle. Add yogurt as before and wait 1 hour. Apply as before, taking care to wet the undersides as well as the tops of the leaves. This stronger mixture is for more advanced/desperate situations.

If you do not have yogurt on hand, go ahead and use the milk/water as stated. Milk itself contains lactobacillus, just not as much as yogurt does.

Cynthia H.
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applestar
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:D Cynthia got here first :D

Another simple formula to remember is 1 cup of milk to 1 gallon of water (plus yogurt) which gives you 1:8

Remember to use non- /de-chlorinated water or rainwater.

Charlie MV
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Both I and my plant's thank you.

b_kind2animals
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You might also consider solar sterilization. I would suggest plugging the term into Yahoo or Google if you are unfamiliar w/ it.

It will take your plot out of production for a few weeks, but may very well "wipe the slate clean".

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rainbowgardener
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b_kind2animals wrote:You might also consider solar sterilization. I would suggest plugging the term into Yahoo or Google if you are unfamiliar w/ it.

It will take your plot out of production for a few weeks, but may very well "wipe the slate clean".
Or type solarization or solarizing into the Search the Forum Keyword box and find lots written about it here! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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