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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
PdxMatos
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Default Cure for early blight.

I have found a very effective treatment against early blight. I figured I'd share it here for reference.
For the past 2 years I've gotten early blight throughout my garden and struggled to treat it.

So this year, when it showed up I went through the scientific literature on it. I found This paper on using compost tea
and
This paper on salicylic acid

As neither were a complete cure, I decided to combine the two approaches.

First I cut off all the infected leaves right up to the stem. I also removed any leaves that I saw were in direct contact with an infected leaf.

Then I made up some non-aerated compost tea, diluted it 5:1 with filtered water and very thoroughly sprayed all of the leaves, the leaves of all adjacent plants. I did this during the day. Normally you don't want water on the leaves especially in the heat of the day because it gives microbes a chance to grow, but in this case that's the whole point.

Following the second paper, I created a root drench with dissolved aspirin in water. I used alka seltzer tablets to deliver the aspirin as these dissolve much better into water. I added 1 tablet to a gallon of water and pored this onto the soil at the base of the plant. (While the rate from the paper corresponds to 1 alka seltzer tablet per 2 gallons of water, I doubled it because I was applying the compost tea solution at the same time, and I figured the excess falling off the leaves would dilute it)

It's now 5 days later, and no signs of any further infection. Photos of the happy plants. (You can see the missing leaves at the base)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
PdxMatos
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In previous years, I have tried diluted bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and potassium bicarbonate. While all of them did something, none of them could cure it, and none worked nearly as well as this.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
Salsacharley
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This is very interesting. If you can provide an update in about a week that would be great. It is close to being significant enough to get excited about, but I would like to see how you do in a week, and then I'll get really excited if it is still working. Thanks for the info!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
Labradors2
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This sounds fantastic. Does it cover Septoria as well? It's that time of the year when my garden gets hit with both these diseases.

Looking forward to hearing more .

Linda
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
jtjmartin
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So you used about 325 mg aspirin per gallon (you) or two (paper) of water?

Jeff
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
slugworth
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No harm in a higher dose of aspirin,I have used 325mg in 1 liter of water on seedlings.
Spray bottle.
The leaves get darker and thicker but I believe the plants get used to it after a while and
it loses it's effect.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
bower
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I have used a brew of leaves (Spirea) for the salicylate root drench, and IMO tomato plants really love it. They perked right up.

I'd be surprised if it didn't help Septoria as well. A general immune tonic effect is what you would expect, afaict. I'd forgotten about it, because it's a hike to where I can get the Spirea - I should plant some near by because if it was handy, I'd boil some up every year and try it on every kind of tomato misery!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
Labradors2
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Thanks Bower. I have some Spirea (that I don't like too much) and will try the leaf boil, and tonic .

Linda
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
Gardadore
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Bower,
Do you dilute the boiled spires leaf mix and if so what is your ratio?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
bower
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Gardadore, I didn't dilute it since I have no way of measuring the salicylate content and I figured it was not going to harm the plants at full strength.



Basically I put the Spirea leaves/twigs/clippings into my pot, covered with water and brought to a boil, let simmer 5-10 minutes with a lid on, then steep it still covered until completely cool. (I left mine overnight but steeping until cool is about as much as you'll get from it, I reckon).
Strain the liquid into a bottle - should be quite a dark tea - and cap tightly if you want to keep it for awhile. I ended up with two bottles and only used one right away - I was surprised actually how well the stuff kept. I had the second bottle for months and it didn't mold or get a bad smell etc. So you can make a big batch and have it for the whole year.


You can do the same thing with willow leaves/twigs and get quite a good salicylate content, afaik. Our moose eat the willow so savagely I was ashamed to take any of it from the poor things.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
bower
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@pdxmato, I notice that you have some beautiful tomatoes just starting to blush there, so I wanted to mention - I found that even in the greenhouse with optimal conditions for health (dry leaves, sunny weather) my plants were routinely getting EB on the lower leaves exactly when they just started to ripen the fruit. On the reasoning that they were drawing extra nutrients from those oldest leaves for the ripening process, I decided to try boosting them with ferts at that point in the season. This pretty much eliminated the EB and loss of lower leaves, in greenhouse conditions. So I wondered if the foliar feed of compost tea might mainly have a nutritional benefit? If so, you could as well apply it to the roots if you want to avoid spraying stuff on your fruit. OTOH maybe foliar feeding is a bonus for fighting the blight?



My bigger problem since then has been to find a convenient fertilizer to apply in containers, as liquid runs through when you are constantly watering, and top dressings cause a lot of surface rooting and there's nowhere to go once filled to the top... I hate to foliar feed or spray anything on leaves because it defeats the advantage of greenhouse growing, that leaves stay dry.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
Labradors2
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I just went outside with aspirins, mortar and pestle. The large aspirins (that are at least 10 years past their expiry date, and have been saved for the garden) didn't work very well because it was hard to get the powder out. I shall have to try that Alka Setlza dissolving kind or work on the spirea/willow idea. I can use an old metal watering can to make the "tea" and let it brew overnight .

Here's what I did for the fert. Using some Farfard Fertilo (5-3-3-) I tried sprinking some around a few plants, but wary of what Bower had written about encouraging surface roots, I had another idea.

Because my tomato garden becomes a jungle in the summer, and because I use plastic mulch, it becomes very difficult to water, especially using a watering can with water from the pond. So I use Aqua Cones so that I can direct water straight to the roots. I tossed each plants allowance of dehydrated Fertilo into each Aqua Cone and watered as usual. Fingers crossed that the plants will appreciate it!

Linda
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
bower
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What are Aqua Cones? It sounds like magic!!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
Whwoz
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We have an equivalent down here or there is the diy version, a length of slotted drain pipe or PVC. With your pots that are starting to get root bound I would drill holes big enough to fit lengths of pipe into and insert pipe to roughly half pot depth leaving 40 mm or so out the top.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
b54red
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Before you get too excited over this wait and see if you get EB again next time it rains. I have just removed the leaves infected and had good results until the next rain that carried EB. I don't get EB every time it rains but when I do it usually affects a lot of the plants at the same time. If the infected leaves are not removed it will definitely spread and sometimes very fast. I have had EB show up twice on some of my plants this season and both times the outbreak happened soon after a light rain. I removed any affected leaves right at the stem and used either Daconil or copper spray and it seemed to stop it in its tracks both times. Since I have had an unusually dry season with few showers EB hasn't been much of a problem this year but in years with regular rain patterns it can be a real problem so I hope your treatment works because as an arthritis sufferer I have lots of aspirin ready to go.

Bill
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