Growing tomatoes at home without using industrial fungicides is possible and, in addition to being more environmentally friendly and possibly healthier, it is also cheaper. In most kitchens, we find ingredients with antifungal properties, which we can mix to make homemade fungicides to use in our organic tomato crops. For example, we can use baking soda and vinegar, among others.
In Green Ecologist we will see how you can prepare homemade fungicides for tomatoes that are really effective. Take note!
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a solanaceous plant from America. It is one of the horticultural fruits (fruit in botany, vegetable in food) most appreciated by farmers and consumers, due to its taste and nutritional qualities. It is very strange to see a vegetable garden that does not have at least one variety of cultivated tomato. In addition, tomato plants are voracious plants that adapt very well to all types of soils, although it is advisable to grow them in soils rich in nutrients and well fertilized.
Most of the varieties are climbers, which is why they tend to be covered, and very few grow at ground level. They are plants that must be pruned as they grow, removing the oldest leaves from the lower part of the tomato. This will facilitate aeration and access to sunlight, preventing some fungal problems, as plant care is the first antifungal method.
The two main diseases that affect the tomato plant are mildew Y powdery mildew. Depending on the humidity, the temperature, the sensitivity of the variety or the initial inoculum, the tomato will be affected by one or another disease. Combating these diseases is possible in organic farming using fungicides with copper or sulfur, but then we will see how to make homemade fungicides for tomatoes.
Baking soda or sodium is a white, soluble compound that is frequently used to combat fungal pests on many plants, one of which is the tomato plant.
We can make homemade fungicide with baking soda for tomatoes easily mixing 4 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 of horticultural oil and citric oil or molasses in approximately 4 L of water. This should be mixed well until the baking soda dissolves. Lastly, this mixture will be placed in a spray bottle and the part of the plant with symptoms of fungal disease will be sprayed. If bicarbonate is not available, potassium carbonate can be used.
Learn more about How to make a homemade fungicide with bicarbonate here.
Cornmeal or cornstarch It is another very common ingredient in cooking that has antifungal properties.
For make this homemade fungicide for tomatoes 1 cup of cornmeal should be mixed with 5 cups of water and allowed to stand for an hour or until it becomes opaque and milky. Subsequently, the solid flour must be removed and the resulting milky liquid sprayed on the tomato plants.
The vinegar it is also a common element in kitchens with antifungal properties. To make vinegar-based fungicide for tomatoes, we must dilute 3 or 4 tablespoons of vinegar approximately in 4 L of water and spray this mixture on the tomato plants. Do it daily, when the sun is not fully on the plant, until you see the fungi disappear.
The most natural is usually apple cider vinegar, although white vinegar is the one that is most effective in treating plant fungi, you can use either of the two.
There are several types of essential oils with antifungal properties that are effective when applied to plants such as tomatoes, both to prevent and treat fungal problems. Among these oils are:
To make fungicides based on these oils, they can be mixed with other homemade fungicides, or diluted in water. Apply them once a day until you notice that there are no fungi, but remember not to do it in the hours of strong sun.
Compost tea is a preparation made from compost diluted in water and is named for its resemblance to the color of liquid iced tea.
For brew compost tea, a bucket should be filled with compost and water in equal parts. This mixture should be left to rest between 10 days and 14 days, later, remove the solid elements and dilute it again in water until the mixture presents the adequate consistency to be sprayed. Finally, we will apply the mixture to the leaves of the tomato plant, especially those that we see that show symptoms of fungal infection. Again, it can be applied daily, outside the hours of sunlight, as many days in a row as necessary until the fungi have completely disappeared from the tomato plant.
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