London (change)
Today 12°C / 3°C
Tomorrow 8°C / 8°C


Latest posts by Italophile

Funky pot of Lavender advice please ..

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 09:49

Take off the flower heads now, wait till new growth starts in early spring, prune down to just above the old wood. 

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 18:00

You can always make your own BM. Copper sulphate, hydrated lime, water. Just get the ratios right. 

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 15:37

It's one of the great conundrums. Copper is a naturally occurring substance so, technically, it's organic. Yet it's a metal that is known to stay in (well, on top of) the soil so it can build up. Organic growers choose not to use chemicals but use a metal that is known to build up in the soil. And have argued - obviously successfully - that there are no known organic alternatives.

I think the difference for commercial growers is that the authorities have decided they - commercial growers - can be trusted not to poison themselves. Private growers apparently can't. 

Tomato problems

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 13:23

Mammy, if it were either Early or Late Blight or any of the common fungal diseases there would be evidence on the stems and foliage long before this. However, those spots on the leaves in the second photo (from the top) have me thinking it might be Anthracnose, a fungal disease. 

Anthracnose starts on the fruit as a single infected spot but will eventually spread to join up as you describe. The first manifestation is usually like a small dent in the surface of the fruit that will look soft and a bit damp. Can you have a close look at all the fruit?

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 10:37

There are various Daconil (well, Chlorothalonil-based) products for different purposes - anti-fungal for toms and spuds, treatment for lawns, etc. The anti-fungal product is composed of 29% Chlorothalonil. That's the minimum figure. The other products with lower percentages aren't suitable.

I've been hunting around online. You can get it in the UK in domestic quantities but it looks like it's sourced from the States so I hate to think what the postage might be. It's not cheap, never has been, but it's 1 tbsp of concentrate per gallon of water so it lasts. I'll keep looking.

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 06:33

There are any number of chemical fungicides. The best one I ever used - on tomatoes, against diseases like Early Blight, so it would work on spuds too - is a Chlorothalonil-based product called Daconil (although there are other brand names). It's a chemical but not toxic to fossicking insects. Some organic growers in the USA even look kindly on it.

It's available in the USA in volumes suitable for the home garden. A couple of years before I left Australia it was only available there in industrial quantities. A group of us tomato-growing friends chipped in to buy a quantity and we divided it up between us. Worked brilliantly. It's not available here in Italy in volumes for the home garden and, last time I checked, ditto the UK.

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 17:56

Google says it's for deficiencies in trace elements so it won't do the job. Copper sulphate, the real thing, is a mixture of copper and sulphur. It can (or used to be able to) be sprayed alone. Just about every backyard tomato plant in Italy used to be bright blue, coated in copper sulphate. Many still are!

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 17:39

Copper sulphate is the copper ingredient in Bordeaux Mixture. That's the major reason for its withdrawal. What exactly is the copper ingredient in this product?

Tomato problems

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 17:36

Potato blight is either Early or Late Blight. Symptoms of both should show up on the plant well before they appear on the fruit. Mammy says the plants look healthy. I'm very interested to see the photos.


Posted: 09/08/2015 at 10:41

Ox Heart, nannie. They should be nice.

Discussions started by Italophile

Italophile has not started any discussions