Friday, July 09, 2010

tomato plant intervention

On Sunday, I discovered that my tomato plants were developing yellow and brown spotted leaves starting with the lower ones and working its way up. I was devastated and ready to run out and buy any fungicide that would stop this disease immediately. Monday passed with quickly with our daughter's day surgery and recovery. Tuesday, I mentioned it to my friend and neighbor and she suggested that a baking soda mixture might help. I did a quick search and found the following instructions:

At the first sign of early blight, it is advised to clip off infected leaves, but only if the foliage is dry. Messing around with damp, infected foliage will only serve to spread millions of fungal spores throughout the garden and infect other tomato plants. After infected foliage is removed (if possible) it is advised to spray down the tomato plants with a mixture of one part milk to four parts water, along with 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every quart of water used. A few drops of liquid soap will help to make the spray stick. The reason this spray is effective is that dried milk when exposed to the Sun's ray's temporarily changes into a disinfectant, while the bicarbonate component of baking soda kills new fungal colonies.

Full article here.

Wednesday morning I made a small batch in a spray bottle and applied it liberally to the leaves. I needed to make the recipe two more times before I was satisfied that the leaves on all the plants had been covered. It is now Friday and the leaves that remain look healthy with only a few showing any sign of disease. But best of all, the plants are producing lots of baby green tomatoes and are growing well. The article suggests another application in 5-7 days. I am hopeful that this may help slow or even stop the disease altogether.

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