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Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

Posted by sjetski 6b NJ (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 28, 11 at 21:53

Hey all,

Sorry i don't have any pics to post, but i'm positive of what my bulk C.Annuum's have, bacterial leaf spot for the third year in a row. I always discovered it late in the past, and it tended to cause pretty serious disruption till i'd finally get it to 'manageable' level. It affected both pods and leaves.

About a week ago i noticed the first spots again, yanked as many leaves as i could find, then sprayed everything down with a Physan20 (linked below) + neem oil mix. This got everything 'manageable' last year, and i hope i caught it early enough this year. I noticed a few more spots pop up in the meantime, but not many, so of course i sprayed everything down again, and will keep doing so.

I noticed all the infected plants/leaves were right next to each other, about a dozen plants total right smack in the middle of the entire plot. The far edges have no infected leaves yet, but those plants were sprayed down anyway, and so were the plants in my other plots about 40 to 50ft away. I didn't want to take any chances...

Does anyone have any pointers for me, a more proven product perhaps? Or is my regimen fine since i caught it early, and i'm just making a big deal of things?

I already know to keep the leaves as dry as possible, so i have that base covered.

Here is a link that might be useful: Physan20

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

I think what you are doing is good. Are you growing in containers or ground. I do not do anything when I get bac spots. I give them extra nutrients and the plants do all the work. But I have never has a severe case on my peppers. Maters, that is a different story.

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

Thank you for your input, and yes i have most everything planted in the ground.. Your situation is exactly why i asked my question, it seems that others don't do much for their bacterial leaf spot problem either, almost dismissing it.

My problem is the situation never got better in the previous two seasons, that's even with dirt that literally has everything in it, i usually spare no expense with soil amendments. You stick your arm into the dirt halfway up your forearm(!)

Not sure if any of the copper based sprays would work, or some other commonly found product, so i'm hoping to get some input on that. But i'll be google search the topic later tonight as well.

Some pics

Here's some pictures i took a few minutes ago. Notice the dead, spotted yellow leaf in the corner of the first picture.

Exhibit A topside:

Exhibit A bottomside:

Exhibit B topside:

Exhibit B bottomside:

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D:

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

Update, going to coat the leaves with a copper solution. But for the 2012 im going to do things differently:

- I'm going to pre-treat my seeds using a different technique.

- Going to plant my plants another few inches further apart.

- Will turn my dirt over once during mid-winter. This is to bring all the bad bacteria to the surface, to expose it to the elements.

- Will cover my transplants for a few weeks during the late May rainy season, to keep the leaves drier.

- Will pre-treat with a lighter copper solution during May and early June, before any outbreaks take place.

- Will use a light solution of Physan20 to foliar spray after rainstorms, during the month of June that is.

What a pain this has been, for the third year in a row. But i'm determined to make 2012 different. I'll try to update this thread with results, might take another week or two.

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

Update: Looks like Copper spray works best, a touch better than Physan20. It hasn't eradicated the problem, but it looks more manageable now. I did two rounds of copper spray, spaced out about a week.

I'm doing follow-ups with Serenade spray, beneficial bacteria that crowd out the bad bacteria, a more organic treatment with no buildup of copper or funny chemicals.

I caught the problem earlier this year than the previous two years, but as i mentioned in my last post, next year will be all about prevention.

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

  • Posted by robeb Kansas City area (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 24, 11 at 12:14

I don't think I'd spray my plants with Physan20.

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

I hear you robeb, the newest information i've picked up leads me to think it's no longer the greatest choice. A couple of years ago when i first researched it sounded like a great idea, even with vegetable plants.

Next year i'm going to use copper and bacterial based sprays. There are a couple of other "bactericides" that i'm going to research as well, but i'm going to make sure they are approved for vegetable use. I know i'm going to load the soil deep with plenty of beneficial bacteria/organisms ahead of time.

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

  • Posted by esox07 4, S. Cent Wisc (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 24, 11 at 13:24

Not being an expert on anything and not being familiar at all with "bacterial leaf spot", I go back to your original post and see that you mention that all the affected plants were all right together (in the middle of the plot). My question is, do you think maybe being in the middle of the plot could be the cause? Are those plants maybe getting less sun or maybe less air circulation? Could something like that be a cause of the problem?
Kind of an educated guess here on my part based on the information you provided.

RE: Bacterial leaf spot, is there a better way, or overkill?

Hey esox, thx for chiming in, all feedback is welcome and gives me more ideas to brainstorm.

The middle plants were getting the same sun, and at that point probably a similar amount of circulation since there was still space between the plants. I caught it this year earlier and before all the canopies connected, like they are now. It may be perception but it seems like the infection can cross a air-span of 6 inches to a foot (wind/rain), unless i'm wrong and it was being pulled in from the roots in those instances.

I'm suspecting that there was either an infected spot there in the soil, or those plants were infected right from seed and waited for hot/rainy stressful weather to overcome the plant's immune system. It could also be dragged in via pants and shoes and maybe last years gardening tools unfortunately ( i don't recall disinfecting everything from last year). The stuff is pretty contagious from what i've been reading and experiencing.


Meant to also say that your train of thought is right esox, that this stuff is most likely to begin in areas where there is less circulation. And that may have been the case for me even though there was still some space between the plants.

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