Garden Journal

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Black Spot Mold

Black Spot Mold
This fungi infection seems to go by different names in different places. Around KC it is called Black Spot Mold and is usually associated with an infection of tomato plants. I believe the organism that we are dealing with is Fulvia fulva a fungi that spreads by condia that remain in the soil and in decaying organic matter over the winter.
Below is a picture from a university extension site showing black spot mold damage to a tomato plant. I am proud to say that this year the prevention and control methods have been so effective that I have no good examples of this disease on the tomato plants.
For me the primary method of prevention is preventing contact of soil with the leafs of the susectible plants. I mulched the tomato seedling immediately after planting. This is extremely effective. Also, consistent pruning of the plant helps keep a steady air flow and good sunlight on the base of the plant.
I have been told that the baking soda mixture mentioned under the discussion of powdery mildew below is effective but I have never used anything to combat this. Prevention is really the most effective method b/c once a infection sets in it is really hard to completely eradicate.
The picture below shows what can happen when you forget to mulch a susceptible plant. This is the leaf of a sunflower plant in the garden and you can see the extent of the damage.


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