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Old July 25, 2019   #1
Guavatone
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Default Gutter rainwater and diseases

I know theses diseases are par for the course with the hot and humid weather. But I am really suspect of my rain collection. It just seems the disease started after heavy use of my rain water via foliar use and watering.

The barrel was beached and cleaned in the spring and on and off I added BT.

My gutters that collect the rain are pretty unkept and the roof has some moss like growth. I have a good bird population, which mean poopalation.

For now the only way I can tell is using city water, but I have 3 filters, so it doesn’t smell like a swimming pool so much as when unfiltered.

I really appreciate this community. Thanks in advance all good tomatovillians
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Old July 25, 2019   #2
sjamesNorway
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I grow my tomatoes in containers. I've used rain water from the roofs for 4 years, and haven't had any disease problem. Last year we had nearly 90F daily for three months, so the conditions were there for problems, but I didn't have any.



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Old July 25, 2019   #3
slugworth
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I have 150 gals of rainwater to use.
I never had a problem.
A lot better than using city water that tastes like chlorox and is $$$
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Old July 25, 2019   #4
Cole_Robbie
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You mentioned BT use was "off and on." You might have fungus gnat larvae in your roots if some of the water did not get treated. You can soak a mosquito dunk in water for a day, then water with that. It should kill larvae. You may have to re treat every few days to get the hatching eggs. I think spinosad will work as a root drench, too.
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Old July 25, 2019   #5
Guavatone
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I have 4 year old knock out gnat powder and spinosad. Does anyone know if knock out gnat lasts that long?

By BT I meant mpsquito dunk pellets
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Old July 30, 2019   #6
JRinPA
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How do you use it for foliar use? Compost tea or vermicompost tea? I grow all my tomaotes in ground so maybe my experiences don't translate exactly, though I consider us as having the same latitude/rain/humidity. Our roof and barrel condition are about the same. Some green stuff grows, and I use mosquito bits.

I've never considered rain barrels a source of diseases for watering, but for teas I always use tap water that has sat and aired for a while to de-chlorinate rather than barrel water, because I don't want anything bad blooming in that tea.

Just in general though, if you are doing a lot of foliar feeding, meaning wetting the leaves...wet leaves, regardless of water source, is what brings out the spots. When it is 90%+ humidity seemingly 24/7 for the summer, the leaves don't dry back off very quickly. I foliar sprayed parts of two seasons and when I was objective about it, it seemed to make things worse. Nowadays I only water/soil drench with compost teas and do my best to keep foliage dry.


EDIT: Clifton NJ, well you are little more north. Can't go much higher in NJ. I'm west of Quakertown. Still, your only 20-25 miles higher Latitude.

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Old July 30, 2019   #7
Guavatone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post
How do you use it for foliar use? Compost tea or vermicompost tea? I grow all my tomaotes in ground so maybe my experiences don't translate exactly, though I consider us as having the same latitude/rain/humidity. Our roof and barrel condition are about the same. Some green stuff grows, and I use mosquito bits
Thanks for hopping on my thread JR. It’s funny, I was just reading some of your posts on ripening. I thought that breathable earth may be a problem, but Craig (of Epic Tomatoes) does breathable bagged tomatoes. I was using rain barrel water for everything including Thuricide, copper, serenade, etc...

Good idea to stick with sanitized water with microbe based tea.

The more I go over this sesson’s Follies, I think it was totally a user error on my part.
1. Being a night owl and spraying/treating late night
2. Too many consecutive nights spraying and not giving my babies a night off.
3. Addicted to google.

What got me thinking about the rain water was when I saw a plant near my gutters that looked diseased. I foliar fed bone meal which seemed to help a purple phosphorus deficiency. I also foliar fed Kellog fish/kelp dilution. Looking at my notes things started getting worse after that. I was getting annoyed at bugs chewing holes which I later found to be flea beetles. I sprayed for pests in mid/late June, then applied diatomaceous earth. Maybe the septoria clung to DE and fell into soil, bc I did notice a spike in disease after that. Also in mid June I had to throw out some nasty diseased banana pepper I got from a local place. But again, I think I messed up with too much dampness. Now going back to my notes, i didn’t foliar feed much ACT, but mostly watered with it.

I think the lesson is to not wet your plants too late at night, and give them more dry evenings/days. And if you do spray at night, do it before sundown so they can dry a bit. Right? Or god forbid get up early and spray before the sun hits my babies
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Old July 30, 2019   #8
JRinPA
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It would be tough for me to have to use containers for everything. Lot of pressure, and even notes. I am spoiled here with the good earth we have...it is self-correcting.

I think I killed my single "late" tomato plant tonight. A big beef sucker that was in a cup this past month, and into the ground last week. I never caged it...I was thinking overhead line. Well, I dragged and dropped cut cornstalks out of a walkway as it was getting dark, and I'm thinking I may as well kiss that plant goodbye. I'm thinking I centered that plant pretty good. Oh well. Opens that spot again for fall peas.
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Old July 31, 2019   #9
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Pressure? Notes? The problem here is mostly uneven ground.

I put 2 plants in the ground that my friend thought would be too much clay and stop it’s growth. I considered these throwaway/experiments. They have been the only one’s without disease. But not much fruit much green and 3-4 leaders. Another reason, for the conclusion that I gave the container plants too much attention. I just have no record of what I did with those 2 plants.
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Old July 31, 2019   #10
ScottinAtlanta
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I just throw some goldfish in my rain totes and barrels, and they control the insect problem completely. Never had any problems related to collected rainwater.
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Old August 1, 2019   #11
JRinPA
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I'll bite, how do keep them from getting picked up in the watering can? Or at least that is the problem I would have. There are some minnows you can buy in NJ that are supposed to eat mosquito larvae. Maybe called mud skippers? Been a while since my brother was talking about them. But that was my question to him, how do you keep them from watering can scoop out, or a heavy rain might suck them out the overflow pipe. He said he put some local minnows in his but I've never seen them the times I've looked in his barrels. Maybe he uses them for fishing.

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Old August 1, 2019   #12
brownrexx
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I use a 330 gallon tote as my rain barrel and the water flows out of the fitting at the bottom into a hose. I have a piece of vinyl screening covering the opening at the top where the rainspout enters the tote. Mosquitoes are excluded this way so I do not do any other mosquito control.

I have never had problems using this water either but then again I would never do any foliar watering either since I feel that wet leaves provide a breeding ground for disease.
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Old August 1, 2019   #13
JRinPA
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Do you feed irrigation with that 330 or just fill buckets?

I was supposed to get a "free" 275 from someone a couple years back...I was planning to build a 4x4 frame to give it some extra head pressure and run drip. I did have some concern about the water staying clean in that big a container. Still waiting on that... For the 55 gal barrels I just top scoop, and now I hooked a couple beds up for drip from the house water.


EDIT: how much sq ft is draining into that 330. How much rain does it take to fill it? My backyard 55 takes about 3/8" to fill and my driveway 55 takes maybe 1/4".

Last edited by JRinPA; August 1, 2019 at 03:45 PM.
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