savannahTomato
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tomato mold/blight

Need assistance identifying my leaf problem.
background:
100% new raised bed 25% potting soil/25% cow/ 20% peat /20% dead oak leaves with pine needle mulch on top. Ph=0
Plants in ground just short of 2 months.
After 5 weeks, removed 1 ft of lower branches.

One week ago noticed lower branches were turning yellow. Sprayed with baking soda concoction and put teaspoon of
Epson salts around base of plants.
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Fungus moving fast up the plant. 3 days ago I removed most of the branches to two feet from the ground. Today I removed another 6 inches. Plants are growing vigorously ---20 are 5 ft high and all have undamaged fruit just starting to ripen.
Today I applied a fungicide. Heavily top and bottom of leaves.
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Tomatoes look great and no problem with new flowers. Leaves usually start to show the problem at the tip and within 2,3 days the entire branch wilts. I goggled all the diseases and the closest I can come to is Tomato Mold. I have seen no characteristics of early or late blight. Leaving suckers grow to offset lost leaves.
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problem from right to left Day1,2,3,4

I am suspecting the dead oak leaves initiated the problem as the bed is new material.?
Recommendations?
What is tomato washing mix to remove chemicals?
Should I apply fungacide after each rain. Plants are watered with drip lines and by hose to base

jerry
savannah ga.

imafan26
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Re: tomato mold/blight

Definitely sounds fungal or maybe bacterial speck. I cannot click to enlarge pictures. See link below and see if you recognize any of the pictures.

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vege ... er/leaves/
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rainbowgardener
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Re: tomato mold/blight

I don't know which disease your plants have, but most of the tomato diseases are fungal (blights, wilts, septoria, etc) and the treatment is all the same. Sounds like you have been doing everything right. Baking soda is one of the recommended treatment. Others would include spraying with 3% hydrogen peroxide straight out of the bottle or Neem oil.

I have to say though - you don't have pH = 0, nothing would live in that. Undiluted vinegar has a pH of 3 and the lower the number, the more acidic. Perhaps you meant you were at neutral pH, which would be 7. Numbers above 7 are alkaline, the higher the number, the more alkaline. All of which would just be an educational quibble, except it makes me wonder how you know your soil pH is neutral, since you clearly didn't measure it. The oak leaves and pine needles are acidifying. Presumably you thought your soil needed acidifying?

Anyway beyond that your mixture sounds rich and dense, moisture holding, and acidic. You have 25% potting soil (with or without Miracle Gro?) , 25% cow [manure] hopefully well aged and composted (acidic), 20% peat moss (very acidic), 20% oak leaves (acidic) = 90%. What is the other 10%? With all those acidic ingredients, you do really need to know (by measuring) what your resulting soil pH is. This is relevant to your question, because acidic conditions favor fungal development. That is why you use baking soda, which has a pH of 8.3

But moisture holding, staying too damp and not well aerated also favors fungal development. It seems like you could use for the missing 10% to be something that helps loosen up the soil and keep it free draining, like perlite, vermiculite, crushed granite, etc.
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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savannahTomato
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Re: tomato mold/blight

imafan26 wrote:Definitely sounds fungal or maybe bacterial speck. I cannot click to enlarge pictures. See link below and see if you recognize any of the pictures.

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vege ... er/leaves/
Thanks for your input. Have looked at these pic before and cannot make a match. Will research bacterial speck, a new one for me.

PS--checked out plants this AM--looks like the fungicide worked--I see minimal new damage on only a few plants. :)

savannahTomato
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Re: tomato mold/blight

I am embarrassed. I am a chemical engineer. Have measured the ph =7. Soil here on the coast is seashell, limestone, almost a powder. Even added Fe to get the Ph neutral.

Have not checked the Ph in several weeks--will do so today.

Update--examined plants this AM--the fungice appears to have done the trick--minimal new damage.

The missing 10% is pine needles.

savannahTomato
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Re: tomato mold/blight

soil under oak leaves and pine needles is very wet, yet still drains well due to sand substrate.
Checked Ph today =6.8
36 hrs since fungicide and no new leaf problems :-()
Cow was from bags :wink:

How soon can I spray again and /or should I just spray the top of the ground cover?

jerry

savannahTomato
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Re: tomato mold/blight

5 days --no new mold issues.
expect major rain today--will redo Baking Soda/milk/oil spray after rain.
and will heavily coat mulch.

jerry

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rainbowgardener
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Re: tomato mold/blight

You do need to redo your treatment after a big rain. Baking soda and milk are both recommended home anti-fungals, but I'm not sure it makes sense to mix them. Baking soda, as noted, is pH 8.3. Milk has lactic acid and is pH 6.7, so they would tend to cancel each other out. What makes milk effective is the lactobacillus, but I'm not sure it thrives in a pH 8 environment.

wikki on lactobacillus acidophilus:

Lactobacillus. L. acidophilus is a homofermentative, microaerophilic species, fermenting sugars into lactic acid, and grows readily at rather low pH values (below pH 5.0) and has an optimum growth temperature of around 37 °C (99 °F).

I would suggest one or the other. You could alternate treatments when you re-apply, especially after a rain.
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imafan26
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Re: tomato mold/blight

From your picture it looks like you have a lot of plants in the area. Spacing them farther apart also helps. I do not use a lot of compost in my mix, 20% max. More than that, it stays too wet and I get rot issues. I live in a humid climate and I tend to over water, so I need a mix that dries faster.

Fungal diseases get very bad after a few days of rain. I have learned after a heavy rain or a few days of constant rain to proactively spray anything that is susceptible including tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumber, beans, and roses. It is your choice sulfur, horticultural oil, neem, milk, baking soda. Pick the one that works best for you. Pick off any leaves that show symptoms early and destroy them. Pick up any fallen leaves. Mulch to limit splashing and as you have done, I take off the lower leaves on my tomatoes. I cage my tomatoes so they are off the ground and get good air circulation. My tomatoes are more than three feet apart so they don't even touch or shade each other.
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savannahTomato
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Re: tomato mold/blight

rainbowgardener wrote:You do need to redo your treatment after a big rain. Baking soda and milk are both recommended home anti-fungals, but I'm not sure it makes sense to mix them. Baking soda, as noted, is pH 8.3. Milk has lactic acid and is pH 6.7, so they would tend to cancel each other out. What makes milk effective is the lactobacillus, but I'm not sure it thrives in a pH 8 environment.

wikki on lactobacillus acidophilus:

Lactobacillus. L. acidophilus is a homofermentative, microaerophilic species, fermenting sugars into lactic acid, and grows readily at rather low pH values (below pH 5.0) and has an optimum growth temperature of around 37 °C (99 °F).

I would suggest one or the other. You could alternate treatments when you re-apply, especially after a rain.
Will follow your suggestion. Will do just the dilute baking soda. thanks for the update

jerry

savannahTomato
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Re: tomato mold/blight

imafan26 wrote:From your picture it looks like you have a lot of plants in the area. Spacing them farther apart also helps. I do not use a lot of compost in my mix, 20% max. More than that, it stays too wet and I get rot issues. I live in a humid climate and I tend to over water, so I need a mix that dries faster.

Fungal diseases get very bad after a few days of rain. I have learned after a heavy rain or a few days of constant rain to proactively spray anything that is susceptible including tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumber, beans, and roses. It is your choice sulfur, horticultural oil, neem, milk, baking soda. Pick the one that works best for you. Pick off any leaves that show symptoms early and destroy them. Pick up any fallen leaves. Mulch to limit splashing and as you have done, I take off the lower leaves on my tomatoes. I cage my tomatoes so they are off the ground and get good air circulation. My tomatoes are more than three feet apart so they don't even touch or shade each other.
You nailed all my errors. The last time I raised tomatoes was in VT. no humidity and we planted tomatoes 1ft apart(30 yrs ago)

Similar sutuation as you described : humid(on the Savannah marsh), heavy compost and fertilizer. Under the 3" of oak leaves soil is soaked and haven't watered in 5 days. Use cages and plants are now into trestles up to 7ft high. Rainbowgardener also gave me some good ideas to help the beds dry. Water by drip line and buckets from rain cistern.

All leaves below 2-3 ft have been removed on puropose or from mold. Last 5 days have been dry and sunny and the top 2-3 inches of bed have become bone dry. And yes, planted with only 2 ft spacing--now with the trestles the plants have been trained to about 3ft apart and are not shading each other.

Ps--I also raise plumeria. Have specimens from many parts of the pacific, including Hawaii ( Kawaii, Maui, and the big Island. They thrive here.

The problem I had was so bad that I thought I was going to lose all 60 plants. For several days removed all the molded leaves and put in a large plastic bag(will continuue doing so as the plants grow). I sprayed with Baking soda about 11 days ago and 2-3 days later could not distinguish the problem slowing down. So I sprayed with a fungicide and the next day .
it was obvious that a major change occurred. Now I don't know if I was to impatient with the baking soda but glad the tomatoes look great. Raining today so will redo Baking soda tomorrow AM. I think I like the idea of using different methods interspersed to take whatever advantage each has. What do you think and what method do you use.?

I was going to mix the baking soda and milk concoction but rainbowgardener makes a good point wrt milk. Will take his advice and stick with baking soda and cooking oil. 8) . His observation from the wiki is below.

wikki on lactobacillus acidophilus:

Lactobacillus. L. acidophilus is a homofermentative, microaerophilic species, fermenting sugars into lactic acid, and grows readily at rather low pH values (below pH 5.0) and has an optimum growth temperature of around 37 °C (99 °F).

Mahalo

jerry

imafan26
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Re: tomato mold/blight

Baking soda used often will raise up the pH a little bit. Sulfur makes it more acidic. Pine needles take two years to breakdown and if you have a basic soil it does not hurt, but contain resins that can be aleopathic to some plants like onions. pH should not change very fast. Most plants like a slightly acidic soil.

I use pine needle mulch because it does not pack down like bark mulch, gives good weed control and because my soil has a pH of 7.8 so I can use all the acidity I can get.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

savannahTomato
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Re: tomato mold/blight

New week update. Garden looks great--not one single leaf problem and tomatoes are ripening. Lots of new growth after the recovery. Whew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I learned a lot--thanks imafan26 and rainbowgardener.

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