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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Fungus Among us? Toplef10Fungus Among us? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Fungus Among us?

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Post  csmartin33 4/7/2018, 9:38 pm

I have been fighting at least one form of Fungus on my tomatoes and other veggies, every single year. I can treat it with various things and get it to go away...mostly, ...for a few days. Then it comes back. I can spray with he same thing again a few days later and it seems to have less effect. So I switch over to something different and it works ....for a few days. If I let it go too long it kills the whole plant within a week or two.

I am guilty of planting tomatoes too close and with our high humidity I know the shade from too many leafs too close together contribute greatly to the problem. Also I have learned that I can, and should, trim more branches down lower. So TRYING to adhere to better practices this year.

I am not sure exactly what this fungus is so I will take it in to a nursery for identification this year in hopes of better treating the problem. I am NOT sure, but leaning towards "Blight" as the strain?

I also have a bird feeder in my back yard and I probably get more than most birds and I suspect the droppings are contributing to the problem, if not out and out causing it?

Thoughts?  Advice?  Suggestions?

                                                      Steve
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Post  sanderson 4/8/2018, 2:05 am

Have you contacted your local cooperative extension? https://extension.osu.edu/lao

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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/9/2018, 8:18 am

I agree with Sanderson. Your Extension Service is a great resource...
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Post  Kelejan 4/13/2018, 1:46 am

I read an interesting article once where a gardener only kept the three top-most leaves on a single stalk.  I must try and find it.
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Post  alexandraleira 4/13/2018, 1:05 pm

Kelejan, I believe that is how some hothouse tomato farms grow their crops, they constantly cut the oldest leaf growth and have one long vine with no foliage except on the topmost part in order to force the fruits to stay an "average" size.

I hope this isn't it, but it's worth a look - Verticillium Wilt.

(I can't post a link, darn. I'm too new.)
It was a link from a Cornell University Paper;


You can just google it for more photos/info. I struggled with it for 2 years in a bad existing garden bed. I put in barley for 2 years and chopped it in twice, but we moved so I don't know if my work was for nothing unfortunately! I was stuck growing most in pots.

It sounds like it progressively gets worse through the season. I don't know if this is your problem, but it sounds similar.

You could also get your soil tested.

Are their any trees dropping debris into the area? Little pine needles or cones, flower blossoms, dogwood fluff, anything can cause a random spike in pH. In this case, just rake out or consider laying straw/mulch after planting so the debris can't get down into the soil. I'm not sure about the bird poo. Honestly thought that might not be a bad thing? But same could apply.
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Post  Kelejan 4/14/2018, 11:19 pm

alexandra. the article about growing tomatoes with only few leaves is in an article I have on www.JoyfulTomato.com  It was a 52 page booklet I downloaded called Organic Tomato Magic.

It is dated 2006.  I do not know if it is still on the Internet as I do not have time to search tonight.  It was something I intended to try then, so perhaps I will have a go this year.
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Post  OhioGardener 8/7/2018, 4:09 pm

@csmartin33 wrote:I have been fighting at least one form of Fungus on my tomatoes and other veggies, every single year. I can treat it with various things and get it to go away...mostly, ...for a few days. Then it comes back. I can spray with he same thing again a few days later and it seems to have less effect. So I switch over to something different and it works ....for a few days. If I let it go too long it kills the whole plant within a week or two.


                                                      Steve

I would love to see pictures of the fungus on the tomatoes.  I know when I have contacted the county extension office in the past, they have requested pictures or parts of the plant they could exercise.  I am in SW Ohio, and I plant my tomatoes fairly close together (in the picture below, there are 4 tomato plants side-by-side in Texas Tomato Cages), and have been lucky so far in never having a fungus problem with them. I am always interested in researching tomato diseases since I only grow heirloom varieties, disease is often more of a problem with heirlooms.

I also have bird feeders, with lots of birds near the raised beds, and they have never caused a plant disease problem.  I also have Tree Swallows and Bluebirds nesting near the gardens, and they keep a lot of bugs under control.



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Post  sanderson 8/8/2018, 3:02 am

Only 4 tomato plants?? Shocked

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Post  OhioGardener 8/8/2018, 8:09 am

@sanderson wrote:Only 4 tomato plants?? Shocked

Only 4 in that bed.  But, other beds have more - have to have enough tomatoes for canning and paste and sauce and....  Smile
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Post  sanderson 8/10/2018, 2:01 pm

What I meant was that if those were only 4 plants then they are huge and healthy looking. Very Happy

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Post  OhioGardener 8/10/2018, 3:04 pm

I'm sorry Sanderson, I misread your statement - a senior moment.....  Shocked

Yes, there are only 4 plants in that 4'x8' section of the raised bed, and they are very large and healthy - they are loving all of that homemade compost that has been incorporated into those beds. I just top dressed them with compost yesterday to keep feeding the plants. Our tomatoes continue growing & producing until early October, so they need several mid-season top dressings of compost.

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Post  jimmy cee 8/14/2018, 10:29 pm

As stated in the book Teaming with microbes, compost tea foliage spray will keep negative items from taking up residence on plants leaves.  Cannot spray to often, I would try a balanced spray  ( bacteria / fungi )
And there's nothing better for your plants future.I never had a fungal problem as you have, however I notice a great improvement after 4 days of application.

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Post  sanderson 8/17/2018, 12:17 am

I still have to try the compost tea spray. I finally bought a new 5-gallon bucket with gallon markings, so maybe I can actually get 'er done.

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Post  jimmy cee 8/17/2018, 1:14 pm

@sanderson wrote:I still have to try the compost tea spray.  I finally bought a new 5-gallon bucket with gallon markings, so maybe I can actually get 'er done.
Sanderson, you'll not believe the results
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Post  OhioGardener 8/18/2018, 8:15 am

@jimmy cee wrote:Sanderson, you'll not believe the results

I may have to try foliar spray of the compost tea. I have only used it for soil drenching, but I may see improved results from foliar spray as well. I wonder if it would stop or reduce the flea beetle damage on the Mizuna?

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Post  OhioGardener 8/18/2018, 6:48 pm

Saw a video demonstration of a really neat Compost Tea Brewer today, but it is too much for an old man like me. It generates 10 gallons of compost tea each time, and I don't think I could use that much at once even if I could afford the brewer. Smile 

Here is the video for anyone interested in the device: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3BH4snMhBw

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Post  sanderson 8/21/2018, 1:32 am

I think the general recipe is a handful of good compost for each gallon of non-chlorinated water.

I'm going to Petco tomorrow and see if I can find a cheap air pump and put one or two gallons of water in the food grade bucket for the chlorine to dissipate before adding the compost. Time for this procrastinator to do it. Very Happy

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Post  OhioGardener 8/21/2018, 8:23 am

@sanderson wrote: Time for this procrastinator to do it. Very Happy

If good things come to those who wait, isn't procrastination a virtue?  Smile

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