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Old July 3, 2015   #1
Starlight
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Ray... A friend about a half hour away from me is growing some full foliage, beautiful tomatoes. I asked him what he was feeding his. No fungal problems or bug problems at all.

He said he has been taking the Vigoro with Calcium and dissolving it and using it as a foliar feed. I have been using the Tomato Tone and Epsom Salt and the bleach spray when needed.

I was wondering with using the TT in my containers, do you think I could do the same without burning plants or having other problems?

If you think it is safe to use, how much dry material would you suggest and to what ratio of water?
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Old July 3, 2015   #2
RayR
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"No fungal problems or bug problems at all." ???? In Alabama? That can't be real! Is there a dry desert climate somewhere in Alabama?

Vigoro Tomato & Vegetable Garden Plant Food Plus Calcium 12-10-5
You can't foliar feed with insoluble compounds. Vigoro is partly soluble synthetics anyway, so I guess it's possible at very low concentration so you don't burn the leaves. I don't see the relationship with him foliar feeding Vigoro and his claim of not having fungal problems or bug problems at all. If it were that easy everybody would be doing it.
Tomato Tone is mostly insoluble organics, so I don't see how it would provide much benefit. Soluble organics like fish hydrolysate or soluble kelp yes, insoluble granular organics no.
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Old July 3, 2015   #3
b54red
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Starlight are you in north or south Alabama? It makes a huge difference in disease pressure. I only foliar feed to get rid of a deficiency like iron deficiency. I can't see much benefit in increasing the time the leaves stay wet unnecessarily in this humid climate but if it works for him then great.

I also had big bushy plants til about 3 weeks ago and then every thing changed almost overnight. I have noticed over many years that the first heavy disease pressure usually hits my plants about the time the first fruits are ready to pick and all of the plants are loaded down. I think maybe the stress of carrying a large load of fruit weakens the plants natural resistance to diseases. Purely anecdotal but an interesting observation to me. Right now I have a bed of plants that were set out about 5 weeks ago and they have been pretty much disease free while the older plants in the very next bed have been having a hard time of it. I don't think it will be too long before they start having problems too since many of the plants in the newer bed are getting some decent fruit set despite the heat, humidity and rain. I'm sure they would be doing much better if the rain would stop and I could give them a good dose of TTF.

Bill
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Old July 6, 2015   #4
Starlight
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[QUOTE=RayR;486392]"No fungal problems or bug problems at all." ???? In Alabama? That can't be real! Is there a dry desert climate somewhere in Alabama?

For real! I tell you when I saw the area they had tried to clear to plant, I thought no way were they ever going to get anything to grow. They got some of the weeds out, but the soil was still filled with vines and feeder roots from trees and they just plopped stuff in the ground and darn if it hasn't grown and flourished and they are harvesting like crazy. Glad somebody is anyways.
Almost makes me want to pack up my plants and move them to his area.

Thank you for the information. I appreciate it. Think I'll just keep on with my regular program of the TT and Epsom Salt. I am now wondering if it isn't so much his foliar feeding as what he has going on under the soil. Besides all the weeds and such they pulled they have dug out a heck of alot of different metals from where pieces of old equipment was tossed and buried. They even dug up all rusted one of them old huge ships anchors in that area.

In spending more time talking to them, when I was telling them about fighting Grey Mold and other problems and how I was using Bill's bleach spray and the copper, they told me that were using sulfur instead of copper on their plants. Says he goes out there every so often and just dusts his plants with some sulfur product of which I don't recall the name. Something I hadn't heard of before.







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Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Starlight are you in north or south Alabama? It makes a huge difference in disease pressure. I only foliar feed to get rid of a deficiency like iron deficiency. I can't see much benefit in increasing the time the leaves stay wet unnecessarily in this humid climate but if it works for him then great.

I also had big bushy plants til about 3 weeks ago and then every thing changed almost overnight. I have noticed over many years that the first heavy disease pressure usually hits my plants about the time the first fruits are ready to pick and all of the plants are loaded down. I think maybe the stress of carrying a large load of fruit weakens the plants natural resistance to diseases. Purely anecdotal but an interesting observation to me. Right now I have a bed of plants that were set out about 5 weeks ago and they have been pretty much disease free while the older plants in the very next bed have been having a hard time of it. I don't think it will be too long before they start having problems too since many of the plants in the newer bed are getting some decent fruit set despite the heat, humidity and rain. I'm sure they would be doing much better if the rain would stop and I could give them a good dose of TTF.

Bill
I'm in the middle but I am also in the big depression area of the backside of Ft. Benning. If you look at a map of the state line between Ga and AL and see the point that kinda juts out. I am right about in that area. I follow Columbus, Ga weather. I'm 10 to 15F hotter usually in the summer of their figures and that much colder in the winter. Lots of heavy fog and mists in the mornings and the dew is terrible.

Today is the first day in a while with no rain or thunder, but they said maybe to expect some later tonight. I hope it does hold off. I have cuts on my arms and legs and my back is sandblasted where we didn't even get a two minute warning before 60mph straightline winds came through and made a major mess.

My plants were doing pretty good too, but like you say these weeks of unending rains everyday is taking a major toll on them. I'm going out first thing in the mornings and gently shaking all the plants to try and get excess water off the leaves. Then I go back out later when sun has warmed the plants a bit and shake again to try and get some pollination going on.

I think you have something with your observation. I am actually surprised that I have been able to keep everything going good for so long. First time ever with the tomatoes. I just keep hoping I can harvest what is out ther now.

I have a bunch of plants in 4" pots to try and set out for a fall crop. They are not hardened off yet. I have them under shade, of course the flea beetles are having lunch on them . So far they are looking good and no signs of Gray Mold and they are only a few feet from the main crop. I know I need to get them moved, but I am almost afraid too.

Normally here by now we have had water restrictions and fines out for a month. Not this year. It's hard to figure out what to do. One day it's 100+ and the next down in the 70's. Actually had to put on a sweater Sat morning it was chilly out.

I'm hanging in here and learning and gaining more knowledge and experience as I go along and getting some tomatoes, so even with all the problems, I feel happy and blessed.
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Old July 7, 2015   #5
b54red
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Be very careful with sulfur in those temps because it can cause some serious leaf burn when it gets well over 90 degrees. I use it sometimes if I have spider mites early in the season but they usually show up when it is too hot to use it. It really works better than anything I have found on spider mites but I haven't used it in years as a fungicide.

Bill
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Old July 8, 2015   #6
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Sea weed extract can be used against powdery mildew, which tomatoes don't really get. But is an example of foliar feeding having some anti-fungal properties. The theory is a well fed plant has a better immune system.
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Old July 8, 2015   #7
Starlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Be very careful with sulfur in those temps because it can cause some serious leaf burn when it gets well over 90 degrees. I use it sometimes if I have spider mites early in the season but they usually show up when it is too hot to use it. It really works better than anything I have found on spider mites but I haven't used it in years as a fungicide.

Bill
Appreciate the warning Bill. I'll pass that knowledge on to them as they may not know it. I'd hate to see all their crops get fried at this stage of the game, especially since we heading back up in temps this week.

Quote:
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Sea weed extract can be used against powdery mildew, which tomatoes don't really get. But is an example of foliar feeding having some anti-fungal properties. The theory is a well fed plant has a better immune system.
Thanks for that information Drew. I've made a note of it. Might work a lot better than milk, which only seems to work a little bit.
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Old July 9, 2015   #8
b54red
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Starlight your neighbor is probably not growing any black tomatoes or other varieties that are more prone to Gray Mold like GWRs and a few other heirlooms. I had never even seen the stuff in 25 years of gardening and then I tried some black tomatoes. I loved them and planted more and more of them each year and found myself battling Gray Mold almost every season. It rarely spreads even to nearby plants unless they are black or it is really rainy and the plants are intertwined a lot. A very effective way to prevent Gray Mold most of the time is just to not grow the varieties that are prone to it.

Bill
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Old July 9, 2015   #9
Starlight
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Bill... You know you are probably right. He planted a lot of beefsteak types and something that is supposed make a giant tomato.

I'm just glad you told me about the bleach spray as I may be growing some more blacks. I finally got to eat my first black tomato. I was a little bit scared at first not knowing what to expect taste wise. My first black was a Black Cherry and it was good and I have a couple more days and I can try the Black Ethiopian, but the one I am waiting for is the Black Krim to even start blushing, so I can see why everybody loves it so much.
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Old November 19, 2015   #10
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Have you tried a hoop house to keep the rain off the plants. I am trying it next season.
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