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.
. 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 Â°C (99 Â°F).