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Re: Leaf Spot--aphids--foliar feeding

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Leaf Spot--aphids--foliar feeding
  • From: Donald Mosser <dmosser@ibm.net>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 15:07:16 -0700 (MST)

At 01:22 PM 2/8/98 -0700, you wrote:
>At a JT yesterday George Sutton presented an interesting theory. 
>He has noticed much less leaf spot the last couple of years 
>(in central California), starting when he began foliar feeding. 
>He also sees fewer aphids.
>The theory is that foliar feeding helps to control the aphids, 
>and aphids spread leaf spot.
>Any comments?...


I would love to comment on the leaf spot issue.  Being from the Deep and
Humid South, one would expect that my garden would be overrun with leaf
spot.  Watching the last few posts on leaf spot, I wondered how I had
managed to escape this nasty sounding stuff.  I speculated as to what I was
doing differently than everyone else. It must be the foliar sprays as I do
not use any heavy duty chemicals or any fungicide sprays in my garden.

I'm pretty aggressive at removing spent or yellow foliage on my TB's
throughout the year.  I use foliar sprays on all of my perennials including
the irises and daylilies. I use a spray of a store brand "Miracle-Gro like"
fertilizer with other things thrown in: Epsom salts, dishwashing liquid
(AJAX Lemon- phosphate free), fish emulsion with seaweed extract, and even
Tabasco sauce (for the rabbits).  I figure that I kill the aphids and feed
the plants at the same time.  The key ingredient that may be effectively
deterring the leaf spot is the dishwashing liquid. The soap dries those
little aphids up overnight and lemon is said to deter ants (aphid herders).

My wife (a non-gardener) has commented in the past to me saying that my
bearded irises have such healthy looking foliage compared to the ones she
sees in neighborhood gardens. I also find that this foliar feeding method
is an easy way to fertilize without any worry of disturbing shallow roots.
I do incorporate some slow release fertilizer, alfalfa pellets, and horse
manure at transplanting time.

I love to experiment with things added to the foliar sprays.  Anyone else
have a favorite ingredient (things fairly non-toxic to humans)?  I once saw
a famous gardening fellow (can't remember his name) on the local PBS T.V.
channel talking about mixing up a concoction with Listerine mouthwash,
beer, tobacco juice, and lots of other household items.  Anyone know about
this fellow and if his homemade garden remedies actually work?


Donald Mosser

North Augusta, South Carolina, USA
On the South Carolina and Georgia Border
USDA Zone 7b-8

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