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Old July 29, 2019   #16
Join Date: May 2016
Location: sw ohio
Posts: 141

I'm wondering if a bleach solution is better for the pruning shears between cuts/plants is better than the spray bottle of 91% isoproply alcohol I'm using. . .the internet will drive you crazy with conflicting information! One thing mentioned was alcohol works more quickly, but other places I read it's not as effective. . .
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Old July 29, 2019   #17
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My unscientific impression (from an engineer) would be bleach being a better disinfectant. Alcohol does dry quicker, which may not be good if the disease would out last the quick drying time of the the high alcohol content.

Using bleach on my shears and hand washing seems to decreased my infections by 50% ish.

But I am sure some more experienced TomatoVillians could say more

Last edited by Guavatone; July 29, 2019 at 11:45 PM.
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Old July 30, 2019   #18
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I use convenient alcohol pads to physically remove contaminants and hit it with heat; I don't find 70% to be dangerously flammable. Besides the water in it makes it more effective at penetrating cell walls than higher concentrations.

Bleach kills spores better than alcohol. No one mentioned hydrogen peroxide, but its effective too.
This CDC page has great info

I think its the one-two punch of chemical and heat (PDF)

@jhouse good topic!
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Old July 30, 2019   #19
Join Date: May 2016
Location: sw ohio
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I think I'll switch to bleach solution!

I read that also, Shatbox, that 70% is better than 91%. But, it seems bleach might be best for me. Lil tough on the shears tho.
I like Clorox wipes, they seem a little tough on the hands. Maybe it'll toughen them up
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Old July 31, 2019   #20
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Location: Idaho (BSk climate)
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Prevention is sometimes the best policy. I understand maybe it can't be prevented very easily in extra humid gardens, though.

Here's what I like to do if I'm trying hard to avoid the plants getting diseased:

1. I start my plants outdoors in a small, unheated greenhouse. They had a lot more disease issues later in the season when I started them indoors. All that fresh air and natural sunlight must be good for them. If you do start indoors, I recommend air circulation, and never use outdoor soil indoors.
2. I avoid buying plants. I start from seed. Store-bought plants sometimes carry pests and/or diseases, although they can do just fine still. I'm not against buying plants (but if I'm trying hard to avoid diseases avoiding buying plants may reduce the risk).
3. I make sure the pre-transplant plants are strong and that they have plenty of the nutrients they need.
4. I zap seeds I plant in water with a Z4EX before drying or planting.
5. I don't worry about it too much. I think this helps a lot, honestly. Getting worked up over a diseased plant or a disease that might develop in future can sometimes cause more problems than it solves. I mean, sometimes it's not even a disease. I tossed my biggest Paul Robeson plant just because it had edema once (before I knew what edema was). It seemed to be contagious, and scary at the time, but it's pretty harmless. Don't get me wrong, diseases can wreak havoc sometimes, but don't let them control you if you can help it. You can live and learn from what happens. If you never just relax you may never learn the times when you can safely do so.
6. Don't plant tomatoes next to ground cherries. (Ground cherries can harbor spider mites, which may take an interest in nearby tomatoes. Spider mites can spread anthracnose, I believe.)

Anyway, yeah, this isn't meant to take away from what others have said. Most people here probably have more experience than me with dealing with tomato diseases.

Last edited by shule1; July 31, 2019 at 02:00 AM.
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Old July 31, 2019   #21
Join Date: May 2016
Location: sw ohio
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That sounds wise Shule1.

For what it's worth, I was about to buy a container of Chlorox wipes last night, and then saw on the label "bleach free". ? So apparently it will kill germs and virus, who knows regarding fungal spores. . .

On a positive note, I haven't had a cold in quite awhile. . .
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Old July 31, 2019   #22
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Originally Posted by jhouse View Post

On a positive note, I haven't had a cold in quite awhile. . .
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