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Old July 17, 2018   #1
gimmieToms
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Default Mold on my poles?

I bought brand new bamboo poles this year for my tomato plants, and noticed today that a couple have dots of mold on them, one pole in particular had a fair bit. It’s been a very hot season so far, some humidity but not a lot of rain. My plants are huge but I’ve been making sure there is plenty air movement around the plants, there isn’t too much foliage and I never wet my plants when I water them.
I cleaned the affected poles with diluted bleach and a toothbrush being careful not to get any of it in the soil, but what could be causing this? Could this potentially spread to the plant itself?
I lost all my tomatoes to mold last year. It was a super wet and mild season, I’d just had a baby so wasn’t pruning like I normally do and they were a jungle, so it was kind of understandable. It was a horrible growing year. But I disposed of that soil, bleached out my pots, put fresh soil, brand new bamboo poles and the plants are great. I don’t get why it would get mold on it.
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Old July 17, 2018   #2
PhilaGardener
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Maybe the poles were coated with something that is hosting the mold growth. I think the bleach sounds like a good idea. Hopefully it will subside as the coating breaks down and weathers off. May you have a better season this year!
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Old July 17, 2018   #3
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I was thinking that too. I’ll keep an eye on them and bleach as needed.
Thank you.
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Old July 17, 2018   #4
brownrexx
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Mold spores are in the air everywhere. They land on surfaces and if they have high humidity and it is not too hot, then they will grow. Bamboo is a natural product and mold will grow on anything that it can "eat" like bamboo, wood, cloth, leather and even some plastics. You would not ordinarily find it growing on metal tomato cages or metal stakes since it can not get any nutrients out of them.
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Old July 17, 2018   #5
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Bamboo, probably not fully dried yet, gets packed into shipping containers in the tropics with heat and high humidity and and sits there for weeks or months in ideal conditions for mold. Probably it is not coated with anything and the fungus is feeding on the carbohydrates and other stuff in the bamboo itself. Once it has a chance to dry out all the way it will probably die. Bleach should help knock it down too. Penetrating epoxy thinned down with a little acetone and applied as a finish would lock out moisture and mold, but thats probably way overkill for some bamboo stakes


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Old July 17, 2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
Mold spores are in the air everywhere. They land on surfaces and if they have high humidity and it is not too hot, then they will grow. Bamboo is a natural product and mold will grow on anything that it can "eat" like bamboo, wood, cloth, leather and even some plastics. You would not ordinarily find it growing on metal tomato cages or metal stakes since it can not get any nutrients out of them.
I think I might invest in some metal poles next year. Last time I used those though they rusted and broke. I liked this bamboo because they were super thick and tall.
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Old July 17, 2018   #7
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You may find that bamboo will rot off at the base. I don't know for sure becaseu I have not used it but one year I got these nice wood markers and used them on all of my rows. Before the season was over they were starting to turn black at the soil level and they rotted off. I stick with plastic now.
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Old July 17, 2018   #8
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3/4 inch EMT conduit works marvelously.
Two feet in the ground eight feet out.
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Old July 17, 2018   #9
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I bought bamboo from the dollar store here, and they turned out to be a real nurture center for mold at some point in the season... Used bleach to clean em and re-use, but by the end of the second year the part that was in the ground was looking streaky and year three the in ground parts were pretty funky with white mold. It did not seem healthy to put that close to anything, and bleach treatment wasn't really staving it off. (Pun!!! ) So I tried a couple of kinds of paint on a few of the staves - one was an enamel the other a 'rust paint' of all things. I was using the rust paint on some metal cages and decided to try it on a few bamboo as well. The rust paint worked. It's pretty tenacious and season two of it not seeing any damage. The enamel otoh started to rub off after one year.

So... I think the right finish may help to extend their life, but without a coating, they will rot pretty fast.
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Old July 18, 2018   #10
saltmarsh
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The grey plastic conduit is UV resistant and is good for at least 7 years.

For mold and mildew use Horsetail tea with a molasses sticker, safe and effective. Works by raising the ph of the surface so the spores don't bloom. Claud
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Old July 18, 2018   #11
gimmieToms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
I bought bamboo from the dollar store here, and they turned out to be a real nurture center for mold at some point in the season... Used bleach to clean em and re-use, but by the end of the second year the part that was in the ground was looking streaky and year three the in ground parts were pretty funky with white mold. It did not seem healthy to put that close to anything, and bleach treatment wasn't really staving it off. (Pun!!! ) So I tried a couple of kinds of paint on a few of the staves - one was an enamel the other a 'rust paint' of all things. I was using the rust paint on some metal cages and decided to try it on a few bamboo as well. The rust paint worked. It's pretty tenacious and season two of it not seeing any damage. The enamel otoh started to rub off after one year.

So... I think the right finish may help to extend their life, but without a coating, they will rot pretty fast.
I normally get 2-3 years out of my bamboo poles. So I was surprised.
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Old July 18, 2018   #12
gimmieToms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltmarsh View Post
The grey plastic conduit is UV resistant and is good for at least 7 years.

For mold and mildew use Horsetail tea with a molasses sticker, safe and effective. Works by raising the ph of the surface so the spores don't bloom. Claud
Awesome. Where would I get that from?
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Old July 18, 2018   #13
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http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...=Bamboo&page=2

This is from way back.I have poles for ten years,the first layers will grow mold,over time and capping the ends in a asphalt( the pure organic now which it is!)a hole drilled inbetweest the node lets the drainage.Stopped plenty of those 9 mms back in the day.
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Old July 20, 2018   #14
gimmieToms
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So, the leaves on the plant that had the most mold on the pole started to look strange. I couldn’t figure out if it was splashes from the bleach water causing the spots, or if it was mold. There was a gray/black spot on the stem too. Rather than wait it out, I removed all the affected parts and sprayed all my plants with copper spray. After losing all my plants to mold last year, I wasn’t about to let that happen again, so I’d rather be safe than sorry. I just hope it wasn’t too late for the affected plant.
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