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How effective are home-made remedies?

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How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Judy McConnell on 9/5/2014, 10:31 am

After a summer of tomato and squash diseases, I have started thinking about a "First Aid Kit" for next growing season.

Have always been an organic gardener (even pre-SFG) and have over-planted so that I would get some produce even with the diseases.

After this summer, I concede - I don't want diseases anymore Can't eliminate them totally, can I?).  Time for fighting!!  While I can't replace the soil in some boxes, or afford to replace the MM mix in others, I must prepare for the fight (next summer).

Aspirin, epsom salt, baking soda - all seem to be on everyone's list of fight ingredients. 

Are these really effective?

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  camprn on 9/5/2014, 11:02 am

firstly,

what are the diseases? Pests?

are you trying to cure an infection or prevent one?

organic or chemical treatments?

do you plan any other interventions?

Take into consideration all variables?

I would start by listing everything your garden was afflicted with, Then I would look at the weather history? Did you keep a garden journal? This would be incredibly helpful to track various things including current conditions of plants and environment, interventions, treatments and results or the lack thereof.



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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Judy McConnell on 9/5/2014, 1:09 pm

Good questions, Camprn and food for much thought.

Main goal will be to prevent the diseases from even starting next season. Had everything from speck to powdery mildew so am looking at mainly bacterial and fungal diseases.

Looking back at my notes (journal) indicates a definite need for prevention/treatment next year - starting in March/April.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/5/2014, 5:39 pm

How about planting some of the cover crop mustards like the kind they have at Territorial Seed? Tilled into the soil once it has grown for a while, it leaches and outgasses its natural chemicals into the soil, which the grower and Territorial refer to as a sort of entirely natural fumigation. Left on top of the soil, that kind of mustard fumigates less, but it can act as a mulch and still suppress some of the bad guys. It can also get tall enough to both shade out some weeds and produce a lot of green manure/mulch.

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  camprn on 9/5/2014, 7:06 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:How about planting some of the cover crop mustards like the kind they have at Territorial Seed?  Tilled into the soil once it has grown for a while, it leaches and outgasses its natural chemicals into the soil, which the grower and Territorial refer to as a sort of entirely natural fumigation.  Left on top of the soil, that kind of mustard fumigates less, but it can act as a mulch and still suppress some of the bad guys.  It can also get tall enough to both shade out some weeds and produce a lot of green manure/mulch.
Does it have a target to fumigate? What is it? Is it broad spectrum?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/5/2014, 7:15 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:How about planting some of the cover crop mustards like the kind they have at Territorial Seed?  Tilled into the soil once it has grown for a while, it leaches and outgasses its natural chemicals into the soil, which the grower and Territorial refer to as a sort of entirely natural fumigation.  Left on top of the soil, that kind of mustard fumigates less, but it can act as a mulch and still suppress some of the bad guys.  It can also get tall enough to both shade out some weeds and produce a lot of green manure/mulch.
Does it have a target to fumigate? What is it? Is it broad spectrum?

From the grower's site at:

http://www.mightymustard.com/varieties

Kodiak (Brassica juncea): Suppresses soilborne fungal pathogens and nematodes, produces more biomass than other varieties

Pacific Gold (Brassica juncea): Reduces soilborne fungal pathogens and nematodes

IdaGold (Sinapis alba): Suppresses weeds

and

Why are there three varieties of Mighty Mustard®?

Kodiak, IdaGold and Pacific Gold all contain very different glucosinolates. IdaGold glucosinolates work to suppress weeds. Kodiak and Pacific Gold glucosinolates are biologically active against insects, some nematodes and fungal pathogens, such as sclerotinia and Verticilium wilt.

From Territorial Seeds (a distributor) page at

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/Mighty_Mustard_Kodiak_Cover_Crop_Seed/new_for_spring_2014

Mighty Mustard Kodiak Cover Crop

NEW! Brassica juncea 80-90 days. This unique plant can be used as both a green manure and a natural soil fumigant to fight nematodes. An organic alternative to using chemical applications of Methyl Bromide. Columbia basin wheat growers use it to reduce the nematode populations between wheat crops. When worked into the soil, Mighty Mustard Kodiak releases high levels of glucosinolates, a natural chemical agent that makes some brassicas spicy. When soil pests come into contact with the decaying matter and the fumes of decomposition, they are unable to complete their lifecycle. For use as a fumigant, mow down and work into the soil immediately. As a fast growing cover crop, Mighty Mustard Kodiak can produce 4-5 tons of organic matter from 6 foot tall plants in just 80-90 days. To utilize as a cover crop, mow and leave it on the ground to dry down before working into the soil. Not only does this mustard recycle existing nitrogen from its long tap roots, the plant itself has a high protein and nitrogen content and will greatly increase the soil's fertility and tilth. The best practice with cover crop mustard is to mow while in flower and before seed-set to ensure it doesn't reseed itself. Unless of course, you would like to save some seed to create your very own savory Oriental mustard! Sow spring to summer at ¼ pound per 1000 square feet; 6-10 pounds per acre.

and

"One of the easiest and most economical ways to improve your soil is to plant green manures, commonly called cover crops. Most garden soils can be maintained at their highest level of productivity by sound soil management practices that involve a combination of soil tillage, crop rotation, and most importantly, the addition of organic matter through green manures.
Organic matter is the ''food'' component of soil. Soil-dwelling fungi and bacteria work to break down organic matter. When these soil microorganisms eat organic matter, nutrients are released back into the soil in a form that is usable by plants. This process is called nutrient cycling. Nutrient cycling affects both the physical and chemical properties of the soil. The addition of organic matter builds soil structure, which increases water absorption and nutrient-holding capacity, buffers the soil pH, and improves aeration. Cover crops choke out weeds by restricting sunlight to the soil, stabilize the soil surface, and through their deep-reaching roots, help to break up hardpan and bring minerals to the surface for other plants to utilize. As part of a long-term rotation plan, cover crops can provide for a stable habitat within your garden for beneficial insects and microorganisms.
Green manures can be grown in the same year as a vegetable crop, such as a cover crop of white clover planted around a cole crop. They can also be grown as a perennial in orchards and vineyards. In mild climates (zones 6 and above), cover crops can be fall planted and tilled in the following spring just before planting. In harsher climates, cover crops can be grown in rows between the crops or as a component of rotation in your garden. Green manure crops are a superior source of organic matter when they are cut and turned under. In addition to this benefit, legume green manures (peas, beans, clovers, favas and vetch) act as a host for the bacteria that fix and make nitrogen available for your vegetable or fruit crops.

and

More and more organic growers and gardeners are discovering the long list of benefits that growing fall planted brassicas such as oilseed radish, mustards, and forage turnips can provide. The rapid fall growth of brassicas supplies a thick ground cover that protects the soil from erosion and helps suppress weeds with a dense amount of biomass. Some brassicas have a large taproot that can break through plow or rototiller pans, thus aerating the soil. The roots also scavenge nutrients from deep in the soil and bring them back to the surface where they can be utilized by your next food crop plantings. Other brassica species release chemical compounds that may be toxic to soil borne pathogens and pests such as nematodes, symphylans, and even some weeds. And if left to flower, brassicas are especially popular with beneficial insects.




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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  camprn on 9/5/2014, 7:23 pm

My point, I suppose, was what if there is nothing that this will impact? What good is an intervention without a specific goal in mind? Thanks for the links.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/5/2014, 7:49 pm

This kind of planting may achieve more than one type of goal, which looks to be one of its strong virtues. Any cover crop can improve one's soil, but the double-whammy of improving soil while potentially killing pests makes these mustard crops sound well worth considering.

However likely or unlikely it might be that no pests or diseases in Judy's garden would be impacted were she to try growing a mustard cover crop, that scenario would still result in her having grown large amounts of green manure good to either be tilled into the soil or removed to the compost heap, or simply used as mulch and/or weed suppressant and/or erosion preventative. (Erosion is a problem we in the rainy Pacific Northwest often deal with.)

As the links address, and as I mentioned earlier, there are many possible benefits to be gained, either alone or in combination. At worst, you've tried an organic solution that improves your soil.


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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  boffer on 9/5/2014, 9:24 pm

Cover crops are great for farmers.

Here's some opinions about cover crops for SFGers.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8236p16-green-manure-does-not-come-from-cows

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Judy McConnell on 9/6/2014, 10:19 am

Thanks - Marc and Boffer   Your suggestions are going to help me clean up my beds

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  camprn on 7/26/2015, 9:34 am

A good blog post about Garden Home Remedies

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/26/2015, 11:06 am

Around here, the traditional ag. farmers grow that oilseed radish as a winter cover. We have hard clay soil, and they say its deep taproot helps break that up. When we get the first hard freeze, it turns a yellowish color and dies, and if you get a warm February day, it smells like something DIED where it is now decomposing! I mean really really bad, comes right into your car if you are driving by a field where it is. So that whole "natural fumigation" thing I believe is true! Then they till it under when spring comes.

I am all in on the compost from my standpoint.

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  littlejo on 7/26/2015, 2:41 pm

I see that this is last yrs. post, but, I did have nematodes. I used mustard to treat them. I just bought mustard that you eat, cheapest one I could buy, and planted it thickly. I cut it as I planted. I turned it under as best I could as I planted. I still get some mustard growing, enough to eat. The plants are easy to pull for composting if they are in MM.
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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/26/2015, 6:27 pm

Good to know, Jo. How do you know if you have nematodes? I am not familiar with that infestation. Right now, my Brandywine tomatoes are not setting flowers. The fruits that ara on seem good, but no blooms at all.

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  littlejo on 7/26/2015, 7:11 pm

I first noticed my bush green beans just looked bad and were not bearing. I opted to pull the plants. The roots were just covered in knots. My DH said that was not where the beans grab nitrogen from air. I took some roots to my extension service office. They showed me that the knots would come off the outside of the roots.  If it's knots where the plant has grabbed some extra nitrogen from the air, the knots will be in the roots and won't come off. This was my first yr doing the new SFG. Haven't seen a root knot nematode since.
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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/23/2016, 12:51 pm

da bump

I'm using mustard in 12 squares that had issues last year. It's one to two inches tall now and I've been eating some baby leaves here and there.  When it comes time to plant summer crops in those squares are we supposed to turn the mustard plants under or pull it out?

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/24/2016, 10:22 am

Up in Marc's post from September 2014 the link says to mow it down before it sets seed, let it dry and turn it into the soil. Where is Marc?

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  camprn on 4/24/2016, 10:27 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Up in Marc's post from September 2014 the link says to mow it down before it sets seed, let it dry and turn it into the soil.  Where is Marc?
I think he lives in Oregon. But that should not make a big difference.

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/24/2016, 10:35 am

I always got good info from his input! He had puppies and got busy!

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Re: How effective are home-made remedies?

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