When the temperatures are soaring and you get one of those afternoon gully washers of a rain that leaves things even steamier you can bet that the fungus is among us. To combat fungal problems organically we alternate the following sprays. These seem to work best as preventatives rather than corrections. By altering the pH of the garden the opportunity for fungus to take hold is lessened. These natural products work well on all of the plants that we offer. We recommend spraying these products early in the morning before the temperature begins to rise above 75 degrees so as not to cause burning of the foliage.
Mix 1 oz. of baking soda with 1 gallon of water and spray the foliage and soil in the morning to retard fungus. This will make the pH more alkaline.
Mix 1 oz. of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water and spray the foliage and soil in the morning to retard fungus. This will make the pH more acidic.
Mix 1 oz. of wettable sulphur with 1 gallon of water and spray the foliage and soil in the morning to retard fungus. Sulphur will leave a yellow residue on the foliage sprayed. This is the most likely to burn if applied when temperatures are warm.
When using organic means to control pests these sprays must be applied in the early morning to achieve an optimal effect. This is for two reasons.
Because most organic home pest control remedies have no residual effect they must come in contact with the insects to kill them. Insects gather and generally nest on the underside of the foliage. The insects will be sluggish during cooler temperatures thus allowing more spray to come into contact with more of them at once.
Spraying during the morning when the temperatures are cooler lessens the chance of foliage burn.
We recommend Ivory Dishwashing Liquid as when applied properly is very gentle. Other products have proven to be caustic and burned foliage. The dilution rate is 1 oz. Ivory Dishwashing Liquid to 1 gallon of water. By dispensing this mixture from a hose end sprayer you will have better spray pressure which will reach the underside of the foliage and come into contact with more insects.
Mix 1 oz. of vegetable oil with 1 gallon of water and spray on the plants. Upon coming into contact with an insect the oil will coat and smother the insect. We recommend only using this method during cooler months as it may burn if sprayed too heavily during the summer.
As with any product, organic or not, please do not practice the policy that if a little is good a lot is better. Always use any product according to directions for optimal results.