Depends on how you grow? Are you organic or conventional? Do you want to use a IPM approach or a preventative spray approach? What diseases do you have to deal with in your area? Diseases vary widely based on where you grow. Did you select resistant cultivars? Are you growing in a high tunnel or open field? This will affect how and what you are allowed to spray. Are you selling at the farmers market, to a co-op or a commercial packing house/distributor? Many will have different rules/requirements about how, what and when you can spray. What are the vectors for your diseases? Are they soil born disease, wind born or insect vectors? You take a different approach for each vector. Some tomato diseases are insect vectored so you can control the disease by controlling the insect, etc.
A good place to start is to list your diseases, find resistant cultivars to those diseases if possible, then use an IPM approach to disease prevention. IPM works if you are organic or conventional, only the list of allowed chemicals changes.
My two biggest diseases in Wisconsin are Early Blight and Late Blight. Everything else is minor by comparison. I am not organic, but my largest customer wants only OMRI approved substances used. I wind up having to use Copper later in the season to control both blights. This is only marginally effective, but it does help. I have selected resistant cultivars and that has helped more than anything else. Each year I make it a point to trial 3-5 or more new potentially resistant cultivars. I monitor resistance then rate based on yield and taste. If I get a great yield, but it tastes bland, etc. my chefs won't take it.
The single easiest thing to lower disease pressure is to grow in a high tunnel. If you can control temps/humidity and insects, you will lower disease incidence by more than 90%.
For fungal & bacterial diseases between small established plants & fruit set use: Manzate / Penncozeb along with copper, bravo & copper can also be used. From fruit set on rotate between strobulirun products like: Quadris, Cabrio, Tanos. Never spray these back to back alternate with bravo in-between. Keep adding copper as long as bacterial diseases are a problem. On the brand of copper, Cuprifix Ultra 40 is the only copper with enough metallic copper to effectively effect bacterial diseases at the maximum labeled rate. If you get into late blight problems use: Curzate, Gavel, Previcur Flex or Ranman & rotate these also. Scout for insects & spray accordingly. Stink Bugs can be very difficult to scout for as they are masters at hiding. Thrips can be difficult to see as well. Look for holes in the leaves & fruit damage. Look in flowers to see thrips. Shake the vines around when scouting to see what flies out or falls to the ground. Good luck!
Yes, I would be glad to e-mail or send via regular post both university studies ( including tests by Mississppi
State Univ and in field results on the ability of Quantum Growth all natural, non-toxic bilogical products ability to manage late bligth and nematodes on tomatoe plants. Please visit www.douglasspeed.com or call 1-866-680-2565 for additional information.
The spray schedule looks like a pretty good one with a mix of products with different modes of activity for fungal diseases.
The only caution I would offer is with the use of Actiguard. I have seen & university research has shown, detrimental effects from this product. Caution should be used if the plants or crop is under any stress. The lowest rate should be used when plants are small. Testing done at Michigan State & Ohio State & my observations from using Actiguard has showed marginal benefits in controlling bacterial diseases like spot & canker.
Thanks for that link. It should be really helpful.
Kristin K said: