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Old August 4, 2017   #241
Salsacharley
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You know, I'm a little suspicious about the dire warnings about using pool grade DE versus food grade, but I'm not going to test my doubts by using pool grade. All the warnings I've heard come from food grade DE sellers. I've got a pool and pool grade DE looks and feels identical to food grade, and it is much cheaper. I haven't looked for any independent expert opinions on this issue so I'll just continue using only food grade DE on plants.
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Old August 4, 2017   #242
b54red
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You know, I'm a little suspicious about the dire warnings about using pool grade DE versus food grade, but I'm not going to test my doubts by using pool grade. All the warnings I've heard come from food grade DE sellers. I've got a pool and pool grade DE looks and feels identical to food grade, and it is much cheaper. I haven't looked for any independent expert opinions on this issue so I'll just continue using only food grade DE on plants.

There is a difference in the way that the two are treated which results in differences. I found this little tidbit which explains the difference in the various types and grades of DE.

http://www.absorbentproductsltd.com/...ool-grade.html

Bill
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Old August 4, 2017   #243
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Thanks for the info. The difference seems not so much but the effects seem to be big.
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Old August 16, 2017   #244
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I got out this morning and sprayed my peppers and tomatoes with the bleach spray. I used slightly less than 5 oz added to a gallon because the leaves were beat up pretty bad by the hard thunderstorms we have been having the past week. I picked all the blushing fruit I could this morning and they all had splits in the skins so they needed to get off the vines because of the soaked ground.

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Old August 16, 2017   #245
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Same here Bill, only no rain around here in 2 weeks. Everything is dying as you know, but i am trying to save anything that will live by sprays and watering - as you said, altering planting dates should work next year - my current experiment is to see what i may be able to nurture back to production...........
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Old August 16, 2017   #246
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Ditto for me. I am basically keeping tomato plants alive for October+. I hope they still produce fruit in fall. For now my current challenge is white flies on melon plants..
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Old August 16, 2017   #247
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I just sprayed my tomatoes and squash with bleach two nights ago. I've never had squash plants this big!

The tomatoes are hanging in there but I agree - they are waiting for revival in cooler temps.
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Old August 16, 2017   #248
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If you aren't getting too much rain like me then give the tomato plants a good dose of Texas Tomato Food or their Vegetable formula. Wait five days and do it again and make sure the plants don't get too dry in between. Keep the number of stems limited and cut off all the lower bad looking stems and leaves. This time of the year plants will force out too many suckers and if you let them will be just a jungle of too many stems with lots of blooms that don't set any fruit. By limiting the number and keeping the plants well watered and fertilized the lower number of growing stems have a much better chance of setting fruit. Don't expect any massive fruit set this time of the year but if you do these few things along with keeping them sprayed and pests under control you can get some fruit set out of those tired plants.

I just spent the last few mornings and evenings doing these things and I am still getting some fruit set from my oldest plants and from my newer plantings I am getting anywhere from poor to really good fruit set. Whiteflies are starting to be a real problem for me on both my tomatoes and peppers so I hope to spray them tomorrow and slow those buggers down. It has been oppressively hot and humid so getting anything done in this heat is very hard for me to do. I was out before it was light this morning in order to get as much done as possible before the sun heated everything up and out just before dark trying to get a bit more done. I am using a lot of DEET so the mosquitoes don't carry me away; but I am making some headway.

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Old August 17, 2017   #249
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Bill keep us posted on whitefly success. The mix helped but 20% of the flies are still on underside of leaves. I will spray again this weekend.

I use TTF also but my lower stems are gone from the mite damage. My fall plants look strong at 2 ft tall but think some mildew is my biggest concern for those.
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Old August 18, 2017   #250
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Bill keep us posted on whitefly success. The mix helped but 20% of the flies are still on underside of leaves. I will spray again this weekend.

I use TTF also but my lower stems are gone from the mite damage. My fall plants look strong at 2 ft tall but think some mildew is my biggest concern for those.

Fall plants especially black varieties will usually have more problems with gray mold than any other time of the year. Keep a copper fungicide on them and you might not have to use the bleach treatment too often. Copper really does help prevent gray mold and mildews. It will also control a very mild outbreak. If you do need to use the diluted bleach spray please use it as early as possible in a disease outbreak because waiting too long is a recipe for a semi-defoliated plant. I have been having a lot of trouble on my pepper plants with speck and spot diseases and the fungicides have not slowed them down much. I finally used the diluted bleach spray and now have a lot of leaves that will need to be removed because I waited til the diseases got much too widespread on the plants. Bell peppers are more sensitive to the diluted bleach spray so I used it at a slightly lower strength than I would for tomatoes. I just wish I had used it a month ago because it really seems to have gotten to the worst infected leaves and I think if I had done it sooner I would have reduced the damage the diseases have done to my peppers. I followed up last night with the Permethrin, DE, Dawn and copper spray to try to control the whiteflies and hopefully protect the plants from further disease. I also sprayed it on all my tomatoes as I am still seeing some scattered mite activity on some of them and I don't want that problem to grow.

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Old August 22, 2017   #251
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I never find time to spray Clorox mix or copper because I do not want to wash away the DE coating. It's been very dry so until it rains I am just leaving the DE mix on plants.
However after 10 dry days I did spray the plants with high pressure water nozzle and then next day I applied a strong Neem oil mixture hoping that would help with any fungus issues while keeping mites at bay. Then 3 days later (yesterday and still no rain) I applied DE spray again. While I have appeared to have defeated the mite and whitefly infestation I need to get a Clorox spray into the schedule. If it rains or by next weekend I will hit them with clorox.

Bill are you getting free TTF? �� You seem to be advertising it, or you believe in it strongly. I have it and have used it a couple times (every 2 weeks) and while it seems a good product I have about the same results with 13-13-13. Noting I have very few tomatoes growing. Also my plants are in raised beds so all of the TTL benefits may be draining away?
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Old August 22, 2017   #252
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I never find time to spray Clorox mix or copper because I do not want to wash away the DE coating. It's been very dry so until it rains I am just leaving the DE mix on plants.
However after 10 dry days I did spray the plants with high pressure water nozzle and then next day I applied a strong Neem oil mixture hoping that would help with any fungus issues while keeping mites at bay. Then 3 days later (yesterday and still no rain) I applied DE spray again. While I have appeared to have defeated the mite and whitefly infestation I need to get a Clorox spray into the schedule. If it rains or by next weekend I will hit them with clorox.

Bill are you getting free TTF? �� You seem to be advertising it, or you believe in it strongly. I have it and have used it a couple times (every 2 weeks) and while it seems a good product I have about the same results with 13-13-13. Noting I have very few tomatoes growing. Also my plants are in raised beds so all of the TTL benefits may be draining away?
Houston you can use the bleach spray then as soon as it is dry you can go ahead and apply the other mix for mites. You could also do what I am doing and that is add copper fungicide to the mix. It seems to work out okay and such a thorough spraying probably makes the copper application more effective. You are doing the most important thing and that is getting the mites under control. As long as spider mites are on your plants you don't have much choice. Make sure to keep the plants well watered since it is so dry there. The leaves are damaged by the mites and losing moisture faster than normal so they will need a lot of water. The good thing about the dry weather is it helps keep foliage diseases down but it also makes the spider mite problem worse. Kind of a catch-22 situation you are in. Welcome to the club.

I wish I could get free TTF for life. I buy by the case to keep costs down but shipping is a killer. I think they are located somewhere in or around Houston so that would be a real savings for you especially by the case. TTF seems to be a fairly natural product and gives me better results than anything else I have tried and I have tried a lot of natural and organic fertilizers and most of them have been extremely costly and have not given me much in the way of results. If I didn't have TTF and the other products they make I would go back to Miracle Grow which was much better than any of the other products that I tried. As a matter of fact it was Miracle Grow that got me started feeding my plants more regularly and seeing the benefits of that. I just went further with that method once I started using TTF and got even better results. I also love the ease of applying fertilizer with a hose end sprayer. As I have gotten older and my arthritis has gotten worse the easier methods are much more appealing to me. I still have problems getting a new bottle shaken up well enough. I have found it is a good thing to pour half a jug into an empty jug and then shake them up and mix them back together.

I, as you say, advertise everything that I have found that works for me in the garden. I have spent most of my gardening life frustrated beyond belief trying to have decent production from soil that is rife with fusarium and nematodes. While at the same time growing in an area with very heavy pest and disease pressure. I spend way too much on my garden but I would quit growing tomatoes before giving up my diluted bleach spray, grafting, cottonseed meal, TTF, mulching with cypress, or using the lean and lower support method. My latest thing to advertise has been the mix of Permethrin, DE and Dawn because it is the only reasonable solution I have found in forty years of growing tomatoes to control mites. I try to let everyone know the things that work for me because of how frustrated I was for so many years without knowing these things. I hope I am saving someone else some of the wasted time and frustration that I went through.

I am a fan of Tomatoville and I am a fan of the TTF which I learned about on this site because some other members bragged about their results with it. I was doubtful that any fertilizer could produce the results I heard about but I gave it a try and haven't regretted that decision at all. I finally gave in to grafting thanks to fans of it on this site and it has made growing tomatoes pleasurable again. Before I started grafting growing tomatoes in soil full of fusarium wilt and RKN was beyond frustrating and like the stubborn cuss I am, I resisted the advice that was freely given on Tomatoville for far too long. Please don't be like I was. Listen with care and check things out but don't wait too long to do the things that will make gardening more fun for you, more productive and less work in the long run.

Bill
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Old August 22, 2017   #253
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Thanks Bill. Actually I have been following you closely as my mentor. First year grower and I am already way ahead of the curve thanks to you. I appreciate the advice and sharing info.

Our longitude is the same so we have simiar problems. The DE mix has worked great. I have the TTL and watering 1 gallon mix per plant every 2 weeks, but am also adding some Triple 13 or Tomato Tone once a month. I am going to add the Clorox treatment this weekend. I do not have Copper concentrate for mite mix,but do have Daconil and curious if that suffices?

The only thing I wish I could change is not killing the good bugs. I am curious if you have ever ordered Ladybugs or Lacewing larvae and used for control?

I also am curious about using your mix but replacing Permethrin with Neem oil earlier in season. Maybe that would provide same results without total innialation of predators?
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Old August 23, 2017   #254
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Thanks Bill. Actually I have been following you closely as my mentor. First year grower and I am already way ahead of the curve thanks to you. I appreciate the advice and sharing info.

Our longitude is the same so we have simiar problems. The DE mix has worked great. I have the TTL and watering 1 gallon mix per plant every 2 weeks, but am also adding some Triple 13 or Tomato Tone once a month. I am going to add the Clorox treatment this weekend. I do not have Copper concentrate for mite mix,but do have Daconil and curious if that suffices?

The only thing I wish I could change is not killing the good bugs. I am curious if you have ever ordered Ladybugs or Lacewing larvae and used for control?

I also am curious about using your mix but replacing Permethrin with Neem oil earlier in season. Maybe that would provide same results without total innialation of predators?
I don't use the Permethrin and DE together until a really bad pest problem arises and that is usually after most if not all ladybugs have left the garden. I will have lots of ladybugs in the spring but soon after it heats up in late May or early June they just disappear and then return in the fall. I really don't usually have a problem with spider mites before June except one time years ago they started in May and I tried controlling them with Neem and was unsuccessful and on top of that the frequent spraying of neem badly damaged my leaves but left the bulk of the spider mites. I will pull out the DE and make the mix if I have a bad infestation of stink bugs early but that is rare and they can usually be gotten rid of with just Permethrin and Dawn unless there are a whole lot of them.

You should be able to get a copper spray in your area without too much trouble. I use the Southern Ag brand and it works great. I like the Daconil for prevention of some diseases but have found it wanting with some of the speck and spot diseases and ineffective in preventing gray mold.

I went out this morning and sprayed my whole garden with the bleach spray but used a slightly lower concentration because I wanted to really spray the bell peppers well. Most of them are suffering from bacterial leaf spot and I found that the last time I sprayed them with the bleach spray it did slow it down and kill off some of the worst affected leaves so I thought I would try it again. Although my peppers are making great they are really starting to look bad from the diseases and I'm not sure if they will make it to the fall if I can't slow down the diseases on them. I have been applying copper to them every week and it also slows down the diseases but certainly doesn't stop them. Even though it has been dryer lately we still are getting a good rain every few days and the humidity is terrible. It got over 103 yesterday which is about as hot as it gets around here. A few more days like that and my peppers will all be scalded. I had to go out and pick off a bunch of scalded ones this morning.

The good news is that some of my tomatoes are setting new fruit despite the incredible heat. The ones setting the best the past week during the 100 plus days have been Spudakee, Berkely Tie Dye Pink, ISPL, and IS. Surprisingly some of the others that you wouldn't expect to set in these extreme conditions have set a couple of tiny new fruit. They are Limbaugh's Legacy, Red Barn, Kentucky Wonder, 1884, and most amazing of all Cowlick's Brandywine.

Bill
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Old August 25, 2017   #255
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Just hit my tomatoes and squash with bleach . . . as I was rinsing the sprayer . . . it started to sprinkle. Guess I'm just out 7 ounces of bleach!
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