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An Organic Gardener’s Help Guide to Stopping Vegetable & Fruit Diseases
by Teresa Carr
One summer I planted some tomatoes and peppers in the limited space I had around my postcard sized property. I had some trouble growing my tomatoes. When the blooms open on the stems they turned brown and fell off. When some of the blooms got tomatoes on them the tomatoes turned brown as well and rotted on the plants. Naturally, I got very discouraged and look high and low for a remedy. I read where most plants love lots of minerals they get from good soil. If the soil is lacking such minerals. The soil should be tilled and minerals added to the soil for optimal growth of plants. The one mineral that is lacking in most soil is a good dose of calcium and magnesium. The younger the plants the better when first setting out your plants in the garden, before blight even happens. If you’re wondering if there’s hope for the plants that have contacted the blight, there is some help. Just by following these simple steps and applying them will save your plants.
Recipe for Tomato Blight Formula:
First remove any infested fruit from the plant and clean around the infested area such as infected dead blooms, leaves and debris. Till soil to break up the ground. Then add the following formula to tomato plants.
Take 1 Tablespoon of calcium powder and magnesium (you can get at your local drug store or natural health food and drug store). If you can’t find the powder you can use calcium tablets or capsules and crush 2-3 tablets up to make 1 Tablespoon. Add this to 1 gallon of fresh spring water. Mix well. I use a sprinkler hose attached to a gallon jug to add directly to the soil around the plant roots. Apply this method for at least every two weeks until symptoms of blight has disappeared. It really works!
You may also want to check your local Green and Feed store or greenhouse for calcium ad magnesium supplements for food plants. You can get Tomatoes Alive! Plus and Enz-Rot Blossom that’s good for melons and peppers, as well, from Gardens Alive available from their website at www.GardensAlive.com.
Another miracle mineral that can jump start young plants and produce yield to maturing plants is kelp. Kelp is seaweed, which you can buy at your local health food or drug store. It can be found in tablet or powder forms. You can also get it in meal form or liquid spray from Gardens Alive by calling 513-354-1482, or from their website at www.gardensalive.com.
The best all-purpose garden insect is the Green Lacewing. The larvae have a veracious appetite for aphids, mealy bugs, immature scales, whiteflies, thrips, spider mites and other plant pests.
Plant Guardian, a biofungicide from Gardens Alive attacks fungal spores and protects plants’ especially grapes and tomatoes defense systems against tough diseases. This is safest to use around honeybees, lady beetles, and lacewings.
An excellent organic fungicide is Neem. It controls black spot, rust, and powdery mildew on roses and downy and powdery mildew on cucumbers.
Sulfur will bring out the blue color in flowers like hyacinths, hydrangea and fruit shrubs like blueberries. Sulfur is also used as a fungicide. It is available under the name of Sulfur Guard from Gardens Alive. It controls scab, powdery mildew, brown rot, leaf spot, rust mite, thrips sooty mold, silver mite, red sider mite, flat mite, two-spotted mite, other eriophyid mites on fruit, nut trees and canes and vines. It can also be used vegetables, flowers, ornamentals and turf to controls all forms of mites even the tomato russet mite, rust, mildew, black and leaf spot, and botrytis blight.
I’ve compiled a list and antidotes of the following fruits and vegetables to help eliminate some of the diseases like blights, mildew, rust, gall, wilt, smut, thrips, fungus and rots that have been affecting plant crops in recent years. Some of these antidotes are on an experimental basis and are not approved by the USDA.
©2006-2012. Teresa Carr. Skyhouse Communications & Mega Grafx Studio.