Baking Soda & Baby Shampoo Fungal Treatments

soccer_dadJuly 8, 2008

I've found a few posts on other forums that describe an anti-fungal treatment using baking soda or baby shampoos. Anyone with experience on treating cool season grasses with either of these techniques? Any truths to these remedies. I'm aware of cornmeal & milk. I'm wondering if either of the other techniques would have a quicker effect, downside, broad range or just focus on certain types of fungal infection, etc...

My yard is pretty dirty. Spraying shampoo seems rather appealing.

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I used a mix of baking soda, vegetable oil and dish soap to control a nasty area of powdery mildew earlier this year. It didn't seem to do much the first 2 doses and then I upped it a little which appeared to work as it was completely gone in the week or so following. What I can't confirm is whether this was the reason or if it was due to climatic changes; however it did seem abrupt.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:37PM
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Thanks. I'm trying a couple of different techniques. One is just dusting with baking soda. Second is just shampoo at 3 oz/1000 and third is shampoo and dusting of baking soda. I'm hoping it will at least slow the fungus growth down. Seems the last week or 10 days it has really blossomed and I was not quick to react. I've never had a lawn fungus before. Lesson learned I guess.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:48PM
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I had what appeared to be fungus on a few patches of dirt where grass hasn't grown yet, which happens occ. when it rains too much. This area is partially shaded by a large Oak tree which makes matters worse. I had some corn gluten left which I had applied earlier this spring. I had read here that corn meal helps fungus so I just threw it down lightly on the white patches last week. The next morning it was GONE. Hasn't come back yet. I didn't even water it in. That's my little experiment. Hope it helps.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:18PM
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jeffcarr3(z7 Central VA)

Baking Soda is allegedly the nuclear bomb for fungi, both good and bad. If you have applied this, you will need to add some compost or compost tea to get the good fungi back into your soil.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:39AM
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A little update. Dusting with baking soda was not a good idea. It was too much. While it was effective on the fungus, it also turned the grass a orangish color - not a dead brown, but more orange on all the spots I treated - which was a lot. I'm watering, so we will see if the grass comes back. The baby shampoo area seemed to work right up with no spotting. Since I'm overseeding this fall I'll be adding compost so I'm not too concerned, it will all even out eventually. My lesson learned is to be more thoughtful about the weather effects on the lawn. I knew the hot humid conditions and lots of night time rainfall were ripe for fungal attacks but didn't think enough about that and plan ahead. I probably should have used corn meal or cracked corn this last May instead of alfalfa pellets. Perhaps in my area, adding grains and compost just before a heat and high humidity period is not a good idea either.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:19AM
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I can see where this would be a bit much as any applications I have made consisted of around 2-4 tablespoons diluted into 2 gallons of water and pump sprayed over maybe 1000sqft. You might consider something I tried lately. Get a bag of cracked corn and mix up some finely sifted compost into it along with a little water to keep it humid (not soaked!). Wait about 2 weeks and broadcast it. The cracked corn I had ended up with colorful fungus all over it already (smelled good) so you know it had a good head start to get that fungus into the soil.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 4:04PM
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i would like to try the shampoo as the milk and cornmeal have not helped the leaf spot on my st. augustine there a certain time of day to apply and do you rinse it off the grass? bz

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:16AM
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I did it in the evening when I had time. Early morning might be ideal, but don't think it matters much. Just used a hose end sprayer at 3 oz per 1000 and let it be.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:53AM
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