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Control of Summer Rots, Sooty Blotch, Flyspeck

Posted by Doug Newman 
Control of Summer Rots, Sooty Blotch, Flyspeck
March 04, 2016 03:10PM
Hi People,

Last year I had a big problem with summer rots and sooty blotch/flyspeck in my late varieties. I am trying to come up with a strategy to prevent it this year. I've seen different competitive biologicals mentioned, such as Serenade, Double Nickel, Actinovate. Or cuticle nutrition like coconut soap, horsetail tea, and methionine/riboflavin. Then there are mineral sprays that alter pH or otherwise prevent the spores from growing, like potassium bicarbonate, Cueva, sulfur, lime-sulfur.

Has anyone had success with any of these or other materials, alone or in combination, to control these diseases?
When should I spray and how often?


Doug Newman
Buried Treasures Organic Farm
Groton, New York
Zone 5b

Re: Control of Summer Rots, Sooty Blotch, Flyspeck
June 22, 2016 09:33AM
Attention needs to be paid to calcium and silica in both the fruit sizing and fruit ripening windows. (See the February 20015 edition of Community Orchardist to review those terms.) What I call the "cuticle defense" is paramount in toning down aesthetic fungi like sooty blotch and flyspeck from feeding on the cuticle, the thinking being that cutins and pectins may not be as palatable if nutritionally dense. Fatty acids contribute to the epicuticular wax coating as well. Complete lipid synthesis is part of healthy plant metabolism, which underlies the holistic approach to keeping fruit trees healthy. Air flow resulting from good pruning technique also counts for a lot in the case of these cuticle-feeding fungi. Rots can do far more serious damage when conditions are right in a very wet summer. Calcium specifically strengthens the cell wall while silica specifically fills in between intracellular spaces. The rot fungus in turn cannot gain entry by means of its hyphae. My homegrown approach to upping the ante in these regards features fermented plant extracts as part of summer holistic applications. I'm happy with the results in my orchard.

Others should chime in with their own experiences about these other materials. Ongoing use of copper (Cueva) concerns me as this impacts mycorrhizal fungi in the soil quite hard. Still, as Doug asks, what are you doing and what are you learning? Let's make this a useful forum discussion.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2016 09:54AM by Michael Phillips.
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