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When to use neem vs. copper

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When to use neem vs. copper

Post  ksbmom on Wed 02 Nov 2011, 1:04 pm

Hi all,
We are trying to do our SFG as organically as possible. My question is, when do you use neem oil and when do you use copper? I asked my extension office and didn't get a clear answer. I'm specifically interested in my tomatoes - I grew some heirlooms last spring that got powdery mildew and I controlled with neem, which worked pretty well, but was wondering what do you use copper for? The guy at Home Depot said they could be used interchangeably, but I haven't been too confident in advice from HD.
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Re: When to use neem vs. copper

Post  camprn on Wed 02 Nov 2011, 2:12 pm

I too am always trying to go organic, BUT it is important to be aware that there are products used in organic gardening that are considered dangerous and some are downright toxic; I would encourage you to do some research on the web about proper copper sulfate (fungicide) use in your garden. There is a lot of info out there. IF you know the manufacturer of the product, their website often will have the information you need, pay attention to any warnings listed on the label; Always read and follow the label instructions. I also recommend use after sundown so as to not affect (kill) any beneficial insects (bees, mantis, lady beetles) to your garden. What a Face

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Re: When to use neem vs. copper

Post  quiltbea on Wed 02 Nov 2011, 2:53 pm

I just don't trust those things, even if they say organic. As mentioned above, even organic products can be harmful to beneficial insects, etc.

For Powdery Mildew I would just use insecticidal soap, but as a prevention I would go thru my garden and brush the leaves and branches so that they get fresh air among them on a daily basis. Also cut out any lower branches that have finished with production so the air moves thru freely. Prevention is best.

BER, Blossom End Rot, can be fought by adding a large handful of dried calcium-fortified milk around the base of the plant. When I've been struck with BER, I've removed the bad fruits immediately and added the milk powder. The next flush of tomatoes do NOT suffer from BER. The removed fruits with some BER can be used if you cut away the BER sections.
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Re: When to use neem vs. copper

Post  camprn on Wed 02 Nov 2011, 8:47 pm

I had very good success controlling powdery mildew with a baking soda solution. Here is a good read on PM.
http://www.mastergardeners.org/publications/powderyMildew.html

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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: When to use neem vs. copper

Post  ksbmom on Wed 02 Nov 2011, 10:23 pm

Thanks camprn - that was a very good article on powdery mildew. I like that it breaks down options for prevention and eradication. Did you use the baking soda spray from that article? And how often did you have to use it? Just wondering if baking soda in the soil can be detrimental. Thanks again!
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Re: When to use neem vs. copper

Post  camprn on Thu 03 Nov 2011, 6:49 am

we had weeks of perfect conditions for PM this past summer. I used the spray twice and it kept the PM under control pretty well. I believe that article does mention that too much baking soda in the growing mix will be detrimental, probably by altering the pH.

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41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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