My Community Plot 2016 E-5: Insect & Disease Prevention & More Prevention – Baking Soda, Aspirin

welcome to the rustic garden this is my community plat series I think I'm on Episode five ish we finally got four days of sunshine the Heat's here it's about 85 degrees the rain seems to be gone so everything is growing well but that also means that diseases and insects come in so today is really going to be about prevention the best way to stop an insect problem or disease problem is to prevent it and there's a couple things that you can do I'm also giving away a bunch of tomatoes and peppers to people on the community plot so hopefully some people will be coming by I'm going to just do a quick walk through now and then I'll do the video again and talk in more detail about the prevention but one of the things you want to do for example here's one of my tomato plants is remove the bottom leaves mulch and that creates a disease splash barrier to keep spores from splashing up onto the bottom leaves and that's how they usually get hold of your tomato plants and other vegetable plants get to do a lot of weeding a lot of pruning the bottoms of the tomato plants to let air circulation go this is one of my broccoli plants there are the white moths flying around those are the moths that lay the eggs that create the green cabbage loopers and that's why you get all these holes in your kale plants collards broccolis Collard flowers peas are doing well more tomatoes kale all this growth is great but now you have to start looking for bugs you have to start looking for disease and the best way to prevent stuff from getting out of hand is to catch it really really early and you can see right over there right on cue those white moths they're looking to lay those green cabbage looper looper eggs cabbages are doing well not many holes in them that because I've been taking care of them and prevention really starts with you keeping sort of a log of when pests and disease show up in your garden and you want to start preventative spraying two three weeks before the disease arrives before the pests arrive this way you actually can stop them from getting hold let me get to cleaning up my community plots and then I'll talk to you about the different sprays we've got to talk to you but how do you use aspirin to bolster the SAR response and your tomato plants some pretty cool things that I hope help you have a healthier garden I was cleaning up the beds putting down mulch weeding doing all that kind of stuff but I want to talk to you real quick about the sprays that I'm doing the best way to prevent disease prevent insect attacks is to spray early so that's what I do I keep a log or a mental track of when fungus diseases show up in my garden or on my plants and when the insect show up I'm going to be using a baking soda spray one tablespoon per gallon of water that goes on most of my plants if you've never used these sprays before always test for anytime someone talks about a spray test spray spray a couple of leaves wait 48 hours if there's no damage go ahead and use them so what I do is put a tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon of water spray the leaves and what that does is it changes the pH level of the leaf surface and it makes it harder for different diseases and funguses to really attach themselves on tomato plants this only works for tomato plants as I take one aspirin it's not coated don't use coated aspirin it'll mess up your sprayer 325 milligrams of aspirin in 1 gallon of water and you can mix the baking soda and aspirin together what the aspirin does is it tricks the tomato into thinking it's being attacked by a fungus or disease because the salicylic acid any aspirin mimics a natural hormone the plant releases when it's attacked by a fungus disease and it starts a sigh response which is systemic acquired resistance so normally if a tomato is being attacked by a fungus or disease it releases a hormone that hormone triggers the SAR response and that really bolsters the idea that the defenses of the tomato to make it harder for the insects to do damage and make it harder for the disease to spread by using the aspirin you're pulling the tomato plant it's starting this response and it's toughening up so if the disease our insects do come they're going to get to a tomato plant that's already bolstered and stronger and it's it truly actually really works I use it just about every year through mid-june through July and look up aspirin and tomato and you'll be amazed at the great research that's on it it only works for tomato plants however the other spray that I use and I showed you that white moth that was flying around I know that that moth is everywhere it shows up at least leap yeah lays the eggs of the green cabbage looper choose holes into everything so I like to spray with the neem oil ahead of time you don't want to wait till you see holes you don't want to wait till you see disease just keep a log track when disease and fungus and insects show up in your garden and spray preventively you can start it 2 to 4 weeks before they show up and that will really make a difference in you being able to get a great harvest out of your garden so I'm gonna take care of these sprays and I'll show you the rest of the garden shortly I'm gonna stop some of my tomato beds and I just want to say again real quick you can create a barrier from spores that are in your soil by putting down woodchips not only does it stop weeds from growing helps with water retention it also keeps spores from splashing out of the soil up onto your leaves so I do like the mulch putting wood mulch on top of your soils Nakada bother the nitrogen or any kind of needs of the tomato plant or plants and then I also prune out some of the leaves slowly as the plant grows and that creates a gap so if soil did splash up it's harder for it to reach the bottom leaves of the tomato and that's how spores get hold and that's how disease spreads upward on your tomato plant and other plants I also put in some of my transplants people ask me why do you grow transplants when you can just put a seed in the ground and you can do that if you have plenty of room but when you're moving crops in and out of a space let the tomatoes grow in a cup seed start like I've shown you and then you can just drop the tomatoes and that's a Bradley tomato that will get tall it's a semi determinant which means it kind of just grows slowly but keeps going all season long so when these dwarf tomatoes are done the Bradley will take over that space and something else will go in there I also added in some more colorful Tomatoes this was arugula some mustard greens I pulled them out I'll leave those greens back there in a corner over this week but a Kentucky orange went in a Brandywine yellow went in I can just drop the transplants in they're actually buried about a third deep so growing your transplants really gives you a jump in getting your indeterminate stew sighs instead of having to put a seed in you know I have six straight weeks of growth already going I also put in a homestead variety right in there that broccoli will either head or turn to seed in the next two weeks and I will have tomatoes replacing that and over on this side is my Cherokee purple I want to show you two more things right in here I'm gonna be dropping my cucumbers in and that will finish up the video but I wanted to show you how the woodchip project is going I'm trying to grow a lot of my greens and wood chips in these raised beds I just walked by down at the bottom I put in wood chips on the top I have soil so they're gonna be slightly bothered I think by the wood chips pulling nitrogen out of the soil but I think they're gonna be okay but this is my experiment right back there is a Brussels sprout and it's growing in mostly wood chips there is some soil in there just to fill the gaps but that whole container is widgets I've been feeding it with a liquid fertilizer I'm going back and forth between a chemical fertilizer and jobs organic but the goal is is to keep the nitrogen flowing in at a slow rate so it's there for the plant and not being used up by the woodchips and that's what woodchips do we bury wood chips into your soil mix as the wood decays it competes for the nitrogen against your plant and the plant looks pretty good bottom leaves are a little bit beat up but we had ridiculous rain for like 18 out of 20 days but it looks like it's greening up it's competing it's doing okay this is also kale that I'm growing in wood chips a little bit yellow but I'm going to just keep working with the formulation of the fertilizer I'm giving it and see how that goes the Asian red yard beans are back there they're doing pretty well my green beans have come up so everything will be trellising nicely the cabbages are doing really well they're starting to head up you can grow them in a container obviously that wasn't doing probably the best out of all of them but things are going pretty good so I'm going to show you the cucumber's and that will be it for the video so to finish up the video I'm going to show you the cucumbers i planted peas are ready and talk a little more about prevention you can see the white butterfly right back there and again soon as you see the insects coming to your garden you want to start with your prevention another thing that I do is lay late last night I put dust on to my plants that will really kill up all the beetles and things that come in and cause problems and then I washed it off in the morning and you can see there's some residue so I'll wash it off one more time but I like to use the dust late at night let it do its thing overnight because all the chewing insects will come crawl on the leaves die off and then I come and spray them off in the morning let me show you the cucumber's real quick when it's 80 degree days 60 degree nights all your warm weather vegetables are really ready to go in this is a bush champion that's in an Armenian cucumber I have a National pickling that's a market Moore all the pots have the bottoms cut out they'll grow right up this fence when these peas come down I think I'll either put in beans or maybe some more cucumbers but they're flowering you can see this variety is starting to mature they're not quite ready another 5 to 7 days over here I have full potted peas edible pods too so that's a nice plump pea with full sized peas but you just pick it off eat the whole thing down here is a dwarf variety and you can see the peas are popping through they should have been picked maybe three or four days ago but that they're grown really just for the edible pod but all the peas really will come through and be taken care of there's another white loss will be harvested and taken care of over the next seven to ten days took out some of my plants in there Brussels sprouts are doing well cabbages are doing well and you can see exactly what that white moth is doing it's laying eggs on every cabbage kale and related plant in my garden that's why you want to do prevention and then a couple of cucumbers are getting put right into my new trials that's a straight need so I hope this really gives you an idea to think about prevention in your garden and what to start doing ahead of time before your pests and your disease arrive if you start 2 to 4 weeks ahead of time you'll save yourself a lot of headache and you'll get more produce to your table


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  2. Hi Gary, have you ever done a DIY rain barrel?

  3. Hey Gary! Love the videos, incredibly informative! I was wondering how would one go about finding a community garden such as the one that have rented. I tried doing a google search but all that came up were community gardens in elementary schools. I was trying to find something with a plot that I can rent just as you are doing. Any tips in finding one? I live in San Diego, CA (perfect weather for growing!) Thanks!

  4. Are you finding that application of aspirin throughout the season is worth it?
    Have you every had a gunked up sprayer from neem and various additives? I put some copper powder in there, big mistake. It clumps and gunks pretty bad. Not sure how to clean this, I've tried twice already and more seems to show up. I think I'm going to fill it up with water and a good deal of sand and really shake it up and see how that goes.

  5. What state are you gardening in?

  6. Great post Gary.Thanks for the information

  7. Please do backyard garden tour

  8. Gary, another great tip and a great garden. What do you know about ROOT MAGGOT, these little maggots love to eat the roots off my seedlings mainly tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and beans. I am told they start there life in my compost along with millipedes. Thanks for any advice.

  9. Gary,when are you gonna start the seeds or transplant the second wave of tomatoes for fall harvest?

  10. allotment is looking great !!

  11. Do you use chicken manure mixed with water on your plants? Is it a good idea?

  12. Maybe you mentioned it, how many times per season should I use each different spray?

  13. Hi! Do you think it would work to dust the plant with diatemaceous earth powder rather than sevin?

  14. I now know for next year to tackle the vermin feasting on my Brussel Sprouts EARLY! Thanks so much! I will have to look into the Yellow Brandywine (I've never cared for pink/red brandywines) and yellow tomatoes are my absolute favorite for taste and color!
    Great video! Thank you!!

  15. Will the asprin work on a tomatillo plant as well?

  16. I'm searching your 2015 vids for info on my war on cucumber beetles, they were all over my squash bed today they were smaller than I remember them too and shagging like rabbits ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Thanks Gary !!!

  18. Hey Gary like always thanks for your tutorial. Always helpful. What do you do for slugs?

  19. My tomato plants got alot of flowers but half of it fall idk why plz help..!!

  20. Hi Gary, I was hoping that I could buy neem oil from you I think you used to sell it in the past, Am I correct if so, could you please give me the information to where I might be able to purchase it , thank you so much for all the great information .

  21. Can you mix baking soda with the neem oil/soap? Just to have to spray once.

  22. I meant neem oil and sevin dust.

  23. Hey, Gary-Thanks to you, I finally had my first successful year with seeds. I direct-seeded blue lake Bush beans and I am noticing bug bites on the leaves. How should I treat? Baking soda, been oil or secin dust?

  24. Thanks Gary, I always take away something from your videos.
    Speaking of prevention, my journey has led me to investigate Insectaries. I am using borders, nooks and crannies to plant locally appropriate flowers to attract beneficial insects. I am also making seed bombs to create clandestine insectaries on under-used land in the hood.
    I've had butterfly gardens, pollinator gardens, now we expand the concept and invite the good bugs.
    Thanks again, for all you do.

  25. Aaaah, I'm envy! It's 117 degrees here.

  26. Hey Gary I was curious about your opinion in using nematodes to deal with fungus flies? And just in general how you would deal with fungus flies? Thanks for all that you do

  27. Gary, I followed your advice for powdery mildew on my squash, pole beans, and cucumbers. I sprayed several times, with out much luck, it seemed to rain every time I sprayed. I started to lose the battle, so in a panic I dumped gallons of water treated with baking soda directly on the plants roots. I watered the plants several times with this treated water. Finally I see new growth on the squash plants, and a slowing of the dying leaves on the other plants, but the jury is still out. My question for you is this…If you want to change the PH on these sick plants, why not water them with baking soda treated water? Why would that not be more effective than topical application? Thanks!

  28. Gary, do you use both Baking Soda AND Aspirin on your tomato plants? We live in Idaho and have similar weather conditions. Your videos have been very helpful to us. We really appreciate all your help.

  29. What dust did you use?

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