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Korean OHN for late blight on tomatoes?

 
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Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
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I'm very curious about Korean Natural Farming and Jadam, but have barely scratched the surface.

In reading our friend Gurkan's list of KNF preparations and other abbreviations, I came across OHN, Oriental Herbal Nutrients

OHN - Oriental Herbal Nutrients
Garlic, Angelica, ginger or turmeric, licorice and cinnamon tinctured using vodka. This is a strong antifungal and used as a medicine on plants  



Where I live, every single tomato plant in every garden in the country reliably falls to phytophtera infestans (late blight), a fungus and a form of mildew, every autumn, whenever the weather starts getting coldish and wet, usually sometime in October, but sometimes we get a spell even in the summer that can wipe out all our plants in a flash.

The only remedy allowed in organic ag is a preventative one (cannot help once the plant is infested), which is to spray with some form of copper. This was going to be removed from the organic standard years ago as excessive copper gradually poisons the soil, but with many years warning and many research euros spent, no one was able to find an effective alternative, so good old (bad old) copper sulfate (and other forms of copper) were restored and are permitted in commercial organic since they're officially the only game in town.

So I keep hoping for and experimenting with biosphere-enhancing alternatives.

It occurred to me that phytophtera infestans is limited in its extent geographically and I've never heard of it in East Asia. So perhaps there's never been much experimentation with OHN versus Late Blight. Does anyone have any experience or know of any trials?
 
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It's worth a try, though if the problem is so pervasive it may be more worthwhile to try a few other options:

1. Exclusion and Hygiene: grow tomatoes in elevated pots with clean media - homemade compost needs to reach high temps to kill pathogens
2. Varieties: choose resistant breeds of tomatoes - like Joseph L, nature chooses which ones survive and prosper
3. Timing: if possible, grow them outside of the peak pathogen season

Tomatoes don't like wet leaves, I tend to remove the lower leaves so spores aren't so easily splashed up from the ground or mulch. Good airflow is a key factor too.

I've no issue with homemade copper, sulphur or white oil treatments - like everything, used judiciously.

 
Dave de Basque
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Thanks F!

Like many (most?) places in the world, tomatoes are everyone's favorite garden plant here. And since the fungus (relative of the infamous Irish potato blight of the 1840s) is so prevalent, we're up on all the tricks.

- Exclusion and hygiene don't help too much as the spores are airborne and can travel very long distances. So if your neighbor has blighted tomato plants, yours are going down soon!

- Resistant varieties, at least the ones we've tried, help a little bit, they may delay the death of your plants by 1-2 weeks, but that's not long enough for most people to switch from a traditional heirloom they love to a totally different variety they may not like much. I've tried 3 resistant varieties so far and have not been impressed with the results yet. Another variety is in this year, we'll see...

nature chooses which ones survive and prosper



...ha, ha... Nature likes to remind us that we're at 43°N and tomatoes are from Mexico, and that we're out of our minds trying to grow them here in the cool and damp this far from the Equator! Nature sentences all our tomatoes to death, it's just us stubborn humans that persist in this madness because we like tomatoes so much. Another problem is that maybe the difference between varieties is how bad the blight gets how fast. By leaving your blighted tomatoes in the ground to see, you're helping broadcast more spores into the atmosphere to ruin everyone else's plants. So...

- Timing: That would be nice, but it's not a luxury we have in our climate except if we use greenhouses. Freezes are possible up until 5 weeks before the summer solstice! If I had a bigger and more isolated garden I would run more trials and plant out at several dates and see how the weather holds up. But since I don't have much space and our season is just long enough to get some good production from late July to maybe mid-October here, it's a bit of a one shot deal.

People who plant some new plants late, say around the summer solstice, say that their plants, being younger, sometimes resist the blight for a week or two more than the older plants do.

Thanks for the input, and still looking for anyone who's used the Korean remedy. I'll probably do the experiment anyway this Fall and hope I'll remember to report back. But a comrade in arms or two would be nice. There is late tomato blight on the East Coast of the US now, so it's not just a European thing anymore.
 
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