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what to do about "bacterial spot"

 
                                        
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I've got bacterial spot on my peach trees, plum trees, and blueberry bushes. My county extension agent said that there is not much you can do other than spray or have your soil "sterilized" (because the bacteria that are affecting the plant live in the soil) and that only commercial farmers can do that. So what is the permaculture answer to the challenge of bacterial spot on fruit trees.
 
Bob Dobbs
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Make sure the tree isn't growing all scraggly, prune out branches that are crowding other branches etc. Make sure the trees are getting enough NPK, maybe add manure or compost. Cut down anything shading them if possible. Prune out anything remotely crappy next winter.


I have a peach tree that has a low level bacterial spot infection, and all it really does is put a few spots on the skin of the peaches that don't go through the skin. Small price to pay to enjoy the prunus serotina that carry the stuff but are so, so tasty.
 
garrett lacey
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Location: Edmonton Alberta
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Bob, those spots sound like a boron deficiency perhaps? Scattering the tiniest bit of borax around the tree would remedy this.

Are the spots on the fruit or the tree itself? Bacterial infections of the wood might be treated with compost tea and/or dressing with clay. I have not tried this but a friend of mine was telling me about it from a book called "Holistic Orchardist" or something to that effect. May warrant further investigation.
 
Bob Dobbs
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Mine is actually fungal scab, no pitting on the fruit = fungal scab. No boron deficiency, but I bet the borax would help suppress the fungus.
I second the compost tea suggestion, the "active ingredient" of thus being bacillus subtilis. If you REALLY wanted to tip the balance and already have natto, you could blend that up and make a tea. Timing is key, it may actually be too late for this year. You have to start applying before bloom, just after petal drop, and before "shuck split".
 
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