Organic options for Brown Rot?

franktank232(z5 WI)June 25, 2013

I'm really worried...i just got done ripping all the sweet cherries off my trees...from horrible cracking, to non stop brown rot..it was ugly... buried everything. I plan on cutting down 2 of the trees (out of 3)... Not so sure sweet cherries like 15 inches of rain in 50 days.

Speaking of brown rot, any organic solutions to at least reduce it some? I'm worried a lot about the plums, peaches, and pluots that so far look fine..

I found this article about calcium sprays:
link

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Frank, thats an interesting article I had not seen, thanks for the link. There is no silver bullet for preventing brown rot organically, if you look at that study for example it reduces infection by something like half. I have found sulphur to be the best option overall, and Serenade and Saf-T-Side oil also provide some help. I think its good to mix it up and also combine where possible. I usually do Serenade and Saf-T-Side together. Sulphur is not compatible with oil so I do that on its own. It sounds like calcium would also be a good thing to throw into the tank.

Along with the sprays a very open pruning regimen plus making sure the stone fruit trees are planted in full sun is important. Plus gently pick off any fruits that are rotting to keep the spore count down.

This year I am sort of giving up and using a propiconazole spray or two. I don't have the time to do all the organic brown rot sprays, you need to keep it up all summer.

Scott

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 6:27PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Scott-

I think i want to try this calcium spray, but have no idea what to use. I have a bottle of sulfur, so i'm good there.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:03AM
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PersianMD2Orchard

I've been meaning to post this for a while. I heard while visiting EL a few months ago that they're having nice but very prelim results using Regalia (OMRI) for brown rot. I believe it stimulates the plant's natural immune defenses against disease.

So far I'm not having brown rot issues (young trees, resistant varieties, early picking off the rare brown rotted fruit) but I will give Regalia a try when it becomes an issue in a couple seasons. The data on it seem a bit mixed (UC Davis data vs the company's own data?) but either way I think it is worth considering unless someone already has had poor results with it?

$99 for 1 gallon preorder at GrowOrganic. Mix @ 3 Tbs/gal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Regalia company site

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:05AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Hmmmmm....looks a little out of my price range... a combo of sulfur plus calcium might just do it for what i need...i'd really like to spray the donut peaches and the pluots.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Frank, you need some foliar calcium. One source is below, I just bought some and I will be using it. This is a large quantity, sometimes its hard to find backyard quantities of these chemicals.

The only positive studies I have found on Regalia are the company ones so I'm a bit hesitant to spring for that. Studies are important because each year varies a huge amount in terms of how much rot there is and you need some controls side by side to see how its doing. Either that or try it yourself with your own control..

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: 7 Springs foliar calcium

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:23PM
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mrsg47(7)

Persian,what is EL? and the meaning of all of your other abbrevs. help us newbies understand thanks.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:50PM
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alan haigh

With so many universities now evaluating organic controls it's probably worth it to wait for a more objective evaluation.

Years ago I believed that the organic movement was reliably ethical as far as companies promoting products. That was years ago. I think it was probably a realistic assessment back in the '60s. Now organic has it's own "industrial complex".

I agree with Scott that the article about calcium sprays is very interesting. At some sites brown rot is a kind of a borderline problem with many stone fruits so this might be a breakthrough. The calcium could probably be applied with the two post petal fall sprays. I may start putting some in the tank.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:07PM
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PersianMD2Orchard

Very good points especially about organic becoming an industry. I understand the reluctance with the mixed data too--especially considering who is coincidentally having the better results--the company itself as opposed to the universities. Plus it's pricey. But if it actually works that would be great. And maybe we won't need much if not crazy infested...

I'll be staying tuned to hear how it continues to perform for the good folks in EL. They seemed pretty excited about their results so far.

MrsG apologies for the abbreviations. EL refers to the nursery Edible Landscaping in Afton, VA. OMRI refers to its organic status. UC Davis is University of California in Davis which is pretty active in the US academic fruit world.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:39PM
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letsski

PersianMD2Orchard wrote: "UC Davis is University of California in Davis which is pretty active in the US academic fruit world."

And is the school where my daughter played basketball! (Just thought I'd throw that in)

I have horrible problems with Brown rot on my Necs and Peaches. Monterey Fungi fighter works very well but is not organic. Without it, I lose 60-80% of my fruit.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:24PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Score!

:-)

Scott

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:18AM
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alan haigh

Thanks for the pic. Brought a big grin to my face.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:55PM
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bberry_gw

Frank,
Tilt or Bumper which are propiconizole based fungicides are listed for stone fruit and a qt. would be very reasonable for the home orchard. I use it commercially but after seeing it has brown rot on it's label it will be sprayed on my fruit trees. My green gage plums and flat peaches are 95% lost to brown rot every year.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:15PM
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PersianMD2Orchard

nevermind on regalia, update is performance poor this season although it was exceptionally wet

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 11:22AM
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rayrose(8)

I don't spray anything for brown rot. I've found that a regimen of
proper orchard hygiene eliminates brown rot for me. Last year, I had a lot of brown rot on my apples, because i didn't properly maintain my orchard. This year, I have, and I've had VERY minimal brown rot.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 5:32PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I tried the clean-up method and it didn't work for me. On apples I can believe it could help but on rot prone stone fruits its much harder.

PersianMD, thanks for the report on the Regalia.

Scott

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 6:24PM
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alan haigh

Up here rots on apples are usually of minimal concern. It is stonefruit that has me spraying in summer.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 6:27PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

When I grew watermelon commercial I had problem with blossom end rot so calcium after bloom. Then grew tomatoes field pick your own by 5 gallon bucket blossom end rot sprayed at 100% bloom. Later I grew Peaches they rot on end I called blossom end rot so sprayed all with calcium that was end of my blossom end rot.
When came on line in 2001 Peach blossom end rot was called Brown Rot. On peaches I spray at complete pedal fall and 2 spray after 7 days each. On acre tomatoes it takes one quart per spray of liquid calcium I buy liquid form calcium in 2 1/2 gallon jug about ever 5 years keep calcium from freezing important and settling I keep in closet shakeup twice year plus before use in spring seem to work. I mix quart in 25 gallon sprayer thats more than need now but spray all out flower grass and shade trees they get left overs.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Gator, you do three calcium sprays total on peaches all season then? I will be doing calcium in every peach/plum spray next spring but I'm not sure how much to do during summer.

Scott

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:59PM
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rayrose(8)

The orchard hygiene has worked for me on all my stone fruits
and apples and pears.
You can achieve the same results with blossom end rot, without having to spray, by feeding calcium nitrate to your fruit trees and melons. I did it this year for the first time, and have had no blossom end rot at all.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 11:22PM
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alan haigh

Rayrose, what varieties of stonefruit do you grow? Are we talking normally wet seasons? Hard to believe that calcium could be such an all out panacea and not well utilized in commercial production as calcium sprays are a very common prescription for apples. But everything has some point of being discovered, maybe this was somehow overlooked even if I can't imagine how.

Maybe I will test it out on one of my nectarine trees.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 5:31AM
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rayrose(8)

I grow peaches, plums, nectarines, apples, pears, figs, watermelons, cantaloupe, blueberries, and tomatoes. The only thing that got blossom end rot with the calcium nitrate was the tomatoes, but I fixed that with 1/2 gallon of milk, which I fed to my 5 plants. Works every time. We had a very wet and cold spring, which created a lot of pollination problems. Poor bees didn't know whether to come or go. I fed all of my trees with calcium nitrate (15.5-0-0) in march and will do it again in august. No other fertilizer. Also tilled it into my melon patches in march and side dressed with it, when the plants started to run. Did the same thing with the tomatoes, but obviously tomatoes are calcium pigs, so hence the milk.
One thing that has helped with the melons, is that I have lots of bees, and tons of blooms, and haven't seen one poorly pollinated melon yet. I have 2 melon patches with 140 hills of melons and 16 hills of cantaloupe.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 10:44AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Scott
I do three sprays with calcium when there good many pebal fall on ground. I watch for PC and OFM flite while spraying 1st spray I use a pressure washer to spray trees this blow any moth into flite thats in tree if see any refill tank and spray Permethrin. 7 days later spray calcium again if see moth Permethrin again third spray 14 days after first cover spray. I do spray more than the 3 because of watermelons tomatoes and cantaloupe in garden I spray all garden crops and fruit nut trees. I only think early sprays are helpful, but hard pick time by calendar.
My Peach crop ends by June 1st I don't have chill hours for any summer Peaches after June 21st .

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:11AM
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alan haigh

My soil always has lots of calcium (and K) as I spread firewood ash to keep the pH near 7. Doesn't seem to help my brown rot but maybe the spray would. High calcium in soil does not at all assure it in the fruit, as I understand it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 11:33AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I came across some calcium chloride...probably a rip off for the amount, but it looks to be very soluble in water...yet i have no idea how much to use (say per gallon)...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:49PM
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alan haigh

I'm surprised it has a freshness code.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:02AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

This made me remember that I have some calcium chloride, its added to cider to keeve it. I bought it from some mushrooming store, see link below. Mushroom growers use it to dry out mushrooms. This stuff is in larger quantity than your little canister, Frank.

Some website I found says 3-4 lbs per 100 gallons, so do the math - half an ounce or so by weight per gallon.

I wished I had thought of this, the calcium stuff I bought was really expensive and I have a couple pounds of the stuff below in my basement.

I wonder what commercial growers use, pure CaCl2 or some other formulation.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: Calcium Chloride pellets

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:13AM
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windfall_rob(vt4)

Working off memory from looking into it for bitter pit last year....

Calcium chloride is the cheapest source but is an extremely corrosive salt... tough on gear, fences, etc and I believe a higher potential for foliar damage if mix or conditions off. Up here here they spray it on dirt roads in summer for dust reduction (pulls humidity from air) and on all the roads in winter (continues to melt ice at lower temps than sodium chloride) but man does it eat up the cars!

I know I saved a link with a lot of good info but can't find it now...I think it was out of University of Michigan.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:22AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

My little container is 5.5 oz...so that should cover me for awhile. I won't need much..i'm going to cover the plums tonite.

I know i've seen it used as road salt..just would imagine it would be chunks of it ...would need to crush it somehow or dissolve it in water for awhile?

Corrosive on cars? just what we need up here...i've seen 5 year old cars with rust.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:20AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Doing a little more research and it looks like thyme oil has a lot of anti-fungal activity... Not sure how exactly you would mix it and if any off flavors would result...but its another possibility...

link

I would think a few sprays of sulfur (4?) and 6? sprays of calcium chloride would really knock back the rot... I'm not looking for 100% coverage, but it would be nice to get my pluots through so i can actually eat some ripe fruit.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:39AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Scott-

Have you sprayed yet? What about just mixing lime and water? I plan on spraying the calcium chloride tonite.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 5:27PM
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steve333_gw

Another organic possibility may be increasing Si levels in the trees. Study have shown that Si carbonate applied to row crops worked about as well or better than fungicides for many crops (melons, squash etc). It may work on fruit trees as well.

It has been quite a while since I read that article, so you'd have to do some research to find the quantities they were applying. But it seems like a real possibility and probably worth a try if you can find a source of Si.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 5:42PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I found this about mix rates...this shows 1.5 to 2lbs per 100 gallons..this maybe what Scott was reading:

link

I'm going to spray the plums and apples...it looks like many light sprays is better then heavy sprays...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Frank, I found the calcium chloride rate on some random website (Colorado I think).. I haven't had a chance to spray yet, its been raining non-stop. Hopefully tomorrow.

Scott

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:23PM
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windfall_rob(vt4)

I think this was the link I mentioned previously ...UNiversity of Wa not michigna

Here is a link that might be useful: nutrient sprays for fruit

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:27AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

That sucks about the rain. Its turned very hot and dry here...a lot of my lawn is all brown...this being a huge change from the 15 inches of precip that fell in May/June... I hope it continues!

Any idea of sulfur and calcium chloride can be mixed?

I figured about .33 oz per 1 gallon on the CaCl.. I'm going to try weekly sprays..hopefully it doesn't burn anything... None of my pluots are nearing ripening...so i got a lot of time left before they turn...same with the plums.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 4:45PM
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