Tomato iodophor


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For better or worse, and with every sense of hope, I offer a tomato garden recently attacked by those small and hateful black leaf dots we so commonly suffer here in the Southeast USA. Early blight is just a name, because the condition for one fungi is the same as for another. Thus my interest in iodine as a blanket protector has led me to drink beer...er wait..Beer drinkers use iodine in their brewing as an Iodophor, or cleansing agent. Properly done, rinsing is not even necessary prior TO HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Given the yeasty smell that is associated with beer and its drinkers, one might understand that I could step from one fungal cousin to the pathogens in my garden with ease. Here is a picture from my very first application, 2 gallons water and 45ml providone iodine solution, from a 10% betadine product I bought at the tractor supply vet section cheaply. The what have you done in the garden thread has an extensive series of pics for the post mortem to come. My major regret is that we seem to be having a dry year. Usally by now I could make sourdough bread with the fungus out in the garden.
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At this point I am seriously impressed. I rolled in with 1 TBSP per gallon and it was not enough. When I came back in 2 days with 2 TBSP per gallon, fungal activity ceased to my eye. It has not rained since the application earlier this week, but this evening gathering squash for dinner I see an absence of 2 fungi, one is septoria and the other on my squash usually is Choanephora cucurbitarum. This serious and incurable fungus has retreated. I am not going to celebrate naked in my garden. The discovery of watermelon on the vertical trellis encased in hosiery and my nudity would not communicate well. I will raise a glass however!
 
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Its hard to have multiple variables when trying to identify if something new is working in the garden. For example, it has been very dry here since mid may, with only 1.25 inches of rain since. The continued cleanliness I am experiencing in the garden is in some part related to climate. Even on that score the betadine has improved the normal summer fungal situation as I do use irrigation, overhead even, so I am seeing a positive effect.

Nothing is free however, and for every action there is a reaction. I previously have chased off fungi with one chemistry only to have some resistant fungi show up in the void. Nature abhors a vacuum is the way I have heard it said.

While inspecting the garden yesterday, I noticed what I felt like was at least a small reduction in tomato flowers. This could be from our high heat. It was not as obvious on curcubits, but I surmise that those flowers that close up were not impacted by the iodophor wash if it impacts flowers at all. The tomatoes are carrying heavy loads of green fruit now, and look good. None have dropped, so the plants are not in an emergency mode at all. I had to run another weave around the top as some laden branches had grown up enough to fall over with fruit.

I believe I will move to using a sprayer with a finer spray control until I understand if iodophor impacts tomato flowering. This should be evident soon, or by the next spraying. I will see about some progress pics shortly.
 
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Some flowers did make as usual, but I cannot connect anything yet. I took a wheelbarrow of infected trim out, and the spots have obviously not reappeared with their usual vigor. I noticed a few leaves infected when I took these pics, but things look very much in control.



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It is funny, by now it is the normal drought period of the year. So far rain every few days, humid as always but no where near as hot. Only one day has it reached 90. Unexpected, but insects are taking over. I am picking off hornworms off my tomato plants almost every day. Nothing can save the cabbages at this point. Melons are looking great the one bright spot for me this year.
 
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Melons are doing good here too. Mine are vertical and are hanging in stockings. I am curious to see how hosiery helps insect issues, but not having grown melons in our small garden I would think the thick rinds help anyway.
 
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We got 1.25" rain yesterday. I see some beady yellow rimmed black spots looking at me from under a tomato. Rain tonight but tomorrow some pre pics and another dosing.
 

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