A tip that I was given, which I am going to try myself this spring, is in regards to curly leaf in stone fruit such as nectarines and peaches in the spring.
You simply place a quarter a teaspoon of Condys Crystals (potassium permanganate) per litre of warm water with one mil of Raingard and spray the trees and the soil underneath in spring prior to leaf show and every 10 to 14days later for the couple of months when the disease is active.
The lady gardener that told me swears by it for control.
The potassium permanganate is a oxidizing agent that kills fungi, the Raingard prevents the rain washing it off for up to 14 days.
It is during rain that the disease attacks, lifted up onto new leaves by the splashing water.
Potassium permanganate is locked in the film of Raingard which slowly breaks down under UV.
The potassium permanganate is neutralizing the spores of the curly leaf disease as they come in contact.
You will need to spray to keep the newest leaves protected, as well as the existing ones as they grow larger, so depending on growth rate spray every 7 to 14 days.
If you try this method this year please let me know the results.
Another gardener uses the same on their roses with great results starting with a spray in winter after pruning and a 2 weekly spray during the season of the foliage and soil as required.
A lot of gardeners have glasshouses or tunnel houses to extend the growing season of tomatoes and other plants.
Some grow in the soil in the glasshouses where others will grow in containers.
Soil in a glasshouse can harbor diseases or what we call pathogens. These love a chemical/acidic environment where they can thrive.
Beneficial microbes and fungi love a alkaline, chemical free environment so the use of chlorinated tap water, chemical sprays along with herbicides are going to create problems for your tomatoes and other plants.
Chemical sterilizing the soil with Basamid is no longer an option since the chemical was banned.
I have in the past suggested potassium permanganate with salt as a soil drench but this takes out both the beneficial and the bad.
Some gardeners dig out the soil and replace it with new soil which is not only a lot of hard work but you cannot be sure the new soil will not have its own problems especially weed seeds.
A new product called Terracin is the natural way to clean up soil diseases.
Mix the Terracin at 2ml per litre of water and apply to one SqM of moist soil.
Or mix at 20ml to 10 litre to water over 10 SqM of moist soil.
Terracin uses a combination of a Bacillus amyloliquefaciens BS-1b, a beneficial soil microbe and the enzymes, bacteriocins, secondary Metabolites and signal molecules from the fermentation of Enteroccocus faecium to suppress a broad range of fungal pathogens.
During the next 3 weeks keep the soil moist (not wet) with non-chlorinated water.
After 3 weeks we need to feed and build the populations of beneficial microbes so we apply Mycorrcin to feed them.
Once you have done this its a matter of not using chemicals in the glasshouse including chlorinated water.
A Special filter can be attached to your hose to remove the chlorine which is the same as what I have been using for several years.
The next problem in a glasshouse is the sheltered environment which is very good for insect pests to breed.
During the growing season you have to keep them in control with the following: sticky yellow whitefly traps, Neem Tree Granules, Wallys Neem Tree Oil and Wallys Super Pyrethrum so they will not get completely out of hand.
Fumigating the glasshouse at the end of the season to kill all the pests that are harboring over in cracks and places means a clean start in the new season.
Wallys Sulphur Powder is available for this purpose.
This is ideal for fumigating a glasshouse in winter when there are no crops growing. (May dehydrate and kill plants so empty the house first.)
If you have plants that you are going to pull out anyway then leave them in the house when you burn the sulphur which will kill the pests on them rather than take them outside to affect your other gardens.
To use: Close all vents in the glasshouse.
Place an amount of sulphur onto a steel hearth shovel and light. It is hard to light unless you have a very strong flame.
You can aid this by putting a little mentholated spirits on part of the sulphur and light that.
Once it starts burning it is hard to stop.
Place the burning sulphur in the middle of the house and leave immediately.
Close the door and let the sulphur fumes do their job. Leave house closed for a few days.
The amount of sulphur burnt will depend on size of the glasshouse.
For a house 2.5m x 2.5 m burn about 50 grams of sulphur.
I did this last winter after cleaning all the plants out of my glass houses and once outside it was a sight to see so many whitefly and adult psyllids beating up against the glass trying to escape.
Likely burning sulphur safely in out buildings for cluster flies in winter would be a good way to control them also.
Hen houses for mites when the hens are locked outside then later air the house and dust Sulphur powder over the perches and floor.
You can make a big difference to your soil, gardens and plants by using Bio Marinus™.
Bio Marinus™ is manufactured by the enzymatic hydrolysis of fish offal, blended with humate, seaweed and biology including Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma, mycorrhizae fungi etc. and designed to provide a high quality, cost effective fertiliser.
At only $15.00 a one litre container that includes a range of beneficial microbes…. it is high value at low cost.
Biologically active soils have the ability to retain moisture and release nutrients ensuring greater production, faster rotation and more rapid recovery from stress. To build a healthy biological soil we need products that can feed living organisms.
Biological fertilisers increase nutrient availability and feed important soil organisms, such as earthworms and microorganisms (fungi and bacteria) – all essential for plant and soil health.
Soil health and soil fertility requires much more than NPK fertiliser.
Without the right biology, plants and animals cannot reach their full potential. Biology is essential for the recycling of nutrients and the fixing of atmospheric nitrogen.
Drench your soils now with this great product and see the difference in the health of your gardens this spring.
You can Super Charge Bio Marinus™ by adding some molasses or unrefined sugar to your soil drench mix.
This feeds the microbes and explodes their populations. Caution if adding do not store in a sealed container as the populations will balloon and even explode a plastic container.
Add the molasses dissolved in some hot non chlorinated water then add the Bio Marinus™ and use immediately.
If you have Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) that can also be added to the brew for even greater results. END
For those that are interested there are BITS (items they likely don’t want you to think about)…just email me and ask for them.
Products mentioned are from Wallys Range of products and can be found in some garden shops or by Mail Order on www.0800466464.co.nz
If there is an interest in some non gardening news email me for the Bits that the media does not like you to know such as 3 waters anti-democracy.