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lonedragonfly July 18, 2016 02:34 PM

Question on life after bleach spray
Boy did I get fooled! I thought I was having the best year ever with my tomato plants. They are all grown in Earthtainers, I have been diligent about alternating copper spray and Daconil, as well as pruning, and they looked better than I have ever seen them before. I had a few black spots so on Friday I did the diluted bleach spray. When I looked at them the next morning it was obvious they were all riddled with Septoria and Grey Mold. I also sprayed copper the day after the bleach.

I can't even remove all the damaged leaves because there would be so few left, and I have a lot of fruit set that I don't want sunscalded. I have been going out daily and removing more damaged leaves as they shrivel, and now I have ugly palm trees. We are coming up on our hottest 2 weeks of the year (temps in the high 90's and very humid), is there anything I can do to help them recover? Maybe but up a sheet to shield them from the sun?

I know next year I will use the bleach spray early and often.

Johnniemar July 18, 2016 04:48 PM

Sounds to me that the bleach might have killed your plants.

b54red July 19, 2016 11:53 AM

Did the new healthy growth get shriveled by the bleach spray? If it did then it was applied at the wrong time of day or with too strong a mix. Copper spray will also cause some shriveling of diseased leaves especially if a stronger mix is used. More than likely you had gray mold building up and waited too long to use the bleach spray. I have never lost that many leaves when using it on spot or Septoria type diseases but I guess it is possible. I have done the same thing and even did it this year on my first plant affected by gray mold. After looking at the results of the spray I realized that had I waited just a few more days it may have been too late for that plant. It has taken a few weeks but it has recovered nicely and I picked a large JD's Special C Tex off of it this morning.

Shade will definitely help with fruit left bare due to defoliation; but many varieties don't get sun scald that easily but some are very sensitive to a lot of direct sun.


lonedragonfly July 19, 2016 02:25 PM

Thanks Bill. The new growth wasn't damaged, I was just shocked at the number of leaves that looked healthy, but were really full of fungus!

ginger2778 July 19, 2016 04:09 PM

I followed the mix directions carefully, applied it very early morning, but it did not work well in my hands. I went back to liquid copper alternating with neem sprays.

b54red July 19, 2016 05:49 PM

I still use both Daconil and Copper sprays but often neither do the job and neither are much good during frequent rainy periods. I like to alternate copper and Daconil as fungicides and use the bleach for things that still pop up almost weekly down here once the heat and humidity get bad.

The fact that your new growth wasn't affected by the spray means you waited a bit too long before applying the bleach spray. As I have stated numerous times it is most effective with used early and often if necessary. When I first started using it I would wait and wait trying the more conventional tools until it was frequently too late to save the plant by using the bleach spray. Eventually it became obvious even to me that I needed to try something different so I started using it early and the results amazed me. By not allowing the disease to get too far along I found I was not losing many leaves after spraying the bleach mix. The fungicides seemed to work better when applied the next day and my thinking was that the bleach spray helped kill or weaken many of the spores on the plants so there was less work for the fungicides to do.

Since adopting the method of using the diluted bleach early and often and applying fungicides the next day and alternating them, my ability to keep my plants healthy for much longer periods has steadily improved. Of course a long period of rain lasting weeks can really make all the effort sometimes futile. You can only fight Mother Nature so much.;)


rick9748 May 13, 2018 04:17 AM

Solid, direct info. thanks.

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