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Treating gardens organically.

COUNTRYSIDE: Thank you for a magazine we enjoy and learn a lot from. I have a question for organic gardeners. What spray or dust do you use instead of poisonous sprays, etc.? Like for eggplant (for me they are hard to raise without some poison), cabbage, vine crops, tomatoes and peppers? Thank you for any good information.--Daniel B. Stolzfus, Mill Hall, Pennsylvania

Here are a couple of treatment ideas:

Apple tree scab: Grow any member of the onion family around the base of the tree. Chives work the best. You can also make a tea from chives and use as a spray on your apple trees to help protect from scab.

Brassicas: Keeping the soil pH around 7.0 to prevent club root disease.

Neem oil will help prevent rust disease, black spot and can act as a general fungicide.

Potato scab: When planting your potato sets put some wilted comfrey leaves in with them to prevent scab. Also keeping the soil for your potato patch with a pH of 5 or below (acid) or a pH of 7 or above (alkaline) to prevent scab.

Apple cider vinegar fungicide for leafspot, mildew, and scab: Mix 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar (5% acidity) with one gallon water and spray in the morning on infested plants. Good for black spot on roses and aspen trees too.

Baking soda: For anthracnose, early tomato blight, leaf blight and spots, powdery mildew, and as a general fungicide. Sodium bicarbonate has been found to possess fungicidal properties. It is recommended for plants that already have powdery mildew to hose down all the infected leaves prior to treatment. This helps to dislodge as many of the spores as possibly to help you get better results. Use as a prevention or as treatment at first signs of any of the diseases.

Mix I tablespoon baking soda and 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil with one gallon of water. Shake thoroughly. To this mix add 1/2 teaspoon of pure Castile soap and spray. Be sure to agitate your sprayer while you work to keep the ingredients from separating. Cover upper and lower leaf surfaces and spray some on the soil. Repeat every five to seven days as needed.

For preventing apple scab and downy mildew on cucumber, pumpkin and zucchini, try chive spray. Put a bunch of chopped chives in a heat proof glass container, cover with boiling water. Let this sit until cool, strain and spray as often as two to three times a week.

You'll find many more cures and controls at Golden Harvest Organics LLC, 404 N. Impala Dr., Fort Collins, CO 80521; 1-970-2244679 Mountain Time (no catalog available).

There are a number of products available from Gardens Alive!,; and Ohio Earth Food (see classified ad in this issue under Gardening),

Send a list of your organic treatments to COUNTRYSIDE Editorial, 145 Industrial Dr., Medford, WI 54451;
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Author:Stolzfus, Daniel B.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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