I began having problems with my tomato plants a couple years ago, so this year I decided to visit my local Ag Agent, first thing he had me do is get my garden soil tested , i did, he viewed the results ,said it was fine and just to use 10-10-10 fertilizer at initial planting. Then he suggessted I buy plants that were disease resistant, so at his advice I bought Parks Whoppers tomato plants for my garden, also for my daughter who does not have room for a garden , I planted patio variety tomato plants in 5 gallon containers that were drilled for drainage and used Planting MIX not soil in those. Now, where the questions arise, the Ag Agent has over 50 years in the business and probably "Assumes" a certain amount of knowledge on my part using chemicals, however I have NEVER used them before. He told me to buy 2 different Fungicides and apply one every 2 weeks alternating brand /type, he also said after heavy rain to apply.He said to get Fungo-Nil and Mancozeb, I did.
So...heres my questions.
1.) Plants have been in ground and daughters containers for 2 weeks, we have had 2 very rainy weekends already, do I need to begin applying Fungicides NOW? Or wait a few more weeks?
2.) Exactly how do I need to apply ( I Know by spraying) do I apply the fungicides? heavily? I presume to apply when not windy etc.
3.) Do I apply to tomatos growing on plants or try and avoid direct application to tomatos?
4.) If I have applied the Fungicides to plants and a tomato ripens, should I wait a few days before harvesting as a safety measure?
5.) How do you clean the Tomatos before eating ??
6..) is there a point in the growing season when you stop application of the Fungicides.Here in East Tennessee, I have had Tomatos thru September in the past.
7.) if heavy Rain is forecast only a few days after scheduled application... is it OK to wait a couple days after the routine schedule and just apply after the rain?
8.) What else have I forgotten to ask? Addittional thoughts or suggesstions, as you may glean, I am willing to use the chemicals, but want to be very sparing and cautious in their application and very carefull to clean the tomatos before eating.
Thanks Everyone for all the wonderful advice I know I will receive!!