Friday, June 12, 2009

Bacterial Speck, Meet My Pruners!

Round One: Ding!
Once the sun came out today and dried off all the tomato foliage I went out with my pruners to face my tomato nemesis. Bacterial speck. Using advice from my friend, a tomato guru, I went out ready to fight. Armed with pruners, a garbage can, and a 1:1 mixture of bleach and water.

First, I started with the healthy tomato plants. I removed all foliage that came within a few inches of the soil. That way when it rains, diseases in the soil won't splash up onto them. Then I went through and removed all foliage that had signs of disease and threw them in the trash. Do not compost them! Between EVERY cut I dipped my pruners into the bleach/water mixture, so I would be less likely to spread any diseases amongst the plants. All diseased foliage is now gone with the exception of a 3 inch section of vine smack dab in the center of my Constoluto Genovese plant.

After some online research, I have decided to fight the spread of the speck with hydrogen peroxide. I've read that is you mix 1 Tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water. Spray it on the plants at night. The peroxide reacts to light, so don't spray when it is sunny outside. It's worth a try. If you try this, don't go crazy and add too much peroxide. Too high a concentration can act as a herbicide and kill your plants.

Score: Kim: 1 Bacterial Speck: 0

Round Two: Ding!
On a side note, my nice-sized Constoluto Genovese green tomato was slain during the fight. It was lost in the battle when I cut an infected branch. Sadly that spotted branch was the lifeline for that poor tomato. I didn't realize it until my hopes for tasting a delicious heirloom in the near future fell to the ground. He will be missed.

Score: Kim: 1 Bacterial Speck: 1


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