My most successful 'black spot' treatment

anitra(8)August 14, 2007

When I found black-spot spreading across my bell pepper plants -- including a big black patch on the one pepper growing -- I tried every organic method I read about: spraying with baking soda, with milk, with cornmeal juice, with compost tea, dusting it with cornmeal. Milk helped a bit, cornmeal helped a bit, but the most effective method was completely heretical. I took some of the wormcastings from my worm bin, added a bit of water to make a paste, and just slathered it on the affected spots. After three such treatments, the black that covered about 1/3 of the fruit's surface is almost completely faded away.

I call this "heretical" because everything I've read about foliar use of wormcastings says to steep them in water for at least 24 hours and then just use the water.

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Are you referring to hot peppers?
If so, is the black on part of the pepper but not sunken or mushy?
If so, this is a normal reaction. Sometimes things happen.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 4:00PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Oops. Just realized you said bell peppers.

Even so, it's likely normal. Difficult to tell without a description more precise than "spreading across my ... pepper plants."

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 4:02PM
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Oh, dear, I may have unecessarily sacrificed on of the pepper plants.

We had three pepper plants in the garden, all sweet bells: one green, one yellow, and one red. They were very slow-growing, and I wasn't paying close attention to them. They started blooming the end of June, which drew my attention; then I noticed that there were black patches on some of the leaves, and even some of the flowers. I searched on "black spots" and came up with "black spot fungus," which looked like what I had.

The smallest and straggliest of the plants had black patches over so much of it that I just pulled it up and tossed it. I thought I could save the other two plants. I did get the fungus on the retreat, but then I got sick myself for a few days, and the next time I checked, the one developing green pepper seemed to have the same black stain growing across it.

There isn't any necrosis. Leaves that had the black spots on them, and weren't treated, would eventually wither and die. Blossoms that weren't treated would shrivel; the fruit bud, instead of developing, would dry up and fall off. The green pepper that had begun developing before it got infected has not died, nor has any part of it rotted -- though it doesn't seem to be getting bigger very fast, either.

For whatever reason, applying a paste of wormcastings and water has made the black patches on stems and on the fruit fade away. New growth is coming in that has no black on it.

My reasoning was that if this was "black spot fungus" the beneficial microorganisms in wormcastings would compete with it and drive it off. Maybe it isn't fungus, and the wormcastings have worked on it in some other way.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 8:11PM
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