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Trichoderma fungi for stonefruit leaf-curl?

 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I'm helping convert a school orchard (planted last year) into a food forest.
I'm thinking the peaches and nectarines were already infected with leaf-curl and it's bad.
I think they need more than just improving their cultural situation.
Copper/Bordeaux mix is still legal for 'organic' control here, but I'm not keen at all.
Has anyone used Trichoderma on leaf-curl? It sounds pretty cool!

 
John Elliott
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It's probably too late for this year. The fruit is probably at a pretty good size now, given you are in that backwards hemisphere. I would think if you were trying to use Trichoderma to displace the pathogenic fungi, it would have been better to start when the trees were just leafing out, that way they could hog all the space that the pathogens were eager to colonize. But it might be worth a try earlier in the season next year.

For right now, you might get better results with a neem spray, or with a bacterially laden compost tea. Maybe the good bacteria in the compost tea will give the leaf curl some serious competition.
 
Jordan Lowery
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try making a strong batch of chamomile tea, and spraying every few weeks all winter, polyculture the hell under the tree. and hand pick any leaves with curl before they set spores. dig a hole to dispose of the leaves.

ive had trees where the entire tree was peach curl. now those trees have none with no winter treatments.
 
Johnny Niamert
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Along the lines of chamomile tea, I've heard wonders about lavender flowers used similarly.

raw milk and/or EM, would be easy as well. Would help to turn the microbial tide back in your favor, perhaps?
 
John Elliott
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Jordan Lowery wrote:try making a strong batch of chamomile tea, and spraying every few weeks all winter, polyculture the hell under the tree. and hand pick any leaves with curl before they set spores. dig a hole to dispose of the leaves.

ive had trees where the entire tree was peach curl. now those trees have none with no winter treatments.


Ya learn something every day. I thought chamomile tea was just to make me sleep well; I wouldn't have thought of using it to put the trees to bed.
 
Leila Rich
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John Elliott wrote:It's probably too late for this year
Forgot a vital part of my post "I'm planning to spray something in the winter"
But actually, I imagine if I took people's suggestions here, I could start spraying now, as the remedies aren't harmful to the tree?
John Elliott wrote:The fruit is probably at a pretty good size now
Fruit? I wish! These trees didn't even blossom.
Jordan Lowery wrote:try making a strong batch of chamomile tea
I'd forgotten about that one, thanks! I'll see if the organic shop has some loose.
Johnny Niamert wrote:Along the lines of chamomile tea, I've heard wonders about lavender flowers used similarly

Cool, I've never heard that one There's loads of lavender flowering right now!
Johnny Niamert wrote:Raw milk and/or EM, would be easy as well. Would help to turn the microbial tide back in your favor, perhaps?

I'm not familiar with fungal issues. So knocking back unwanted fungi, and supporting/replacing with beneficial ones...
How about I spray a mix of lavender and chamomile (knock back), then raw milk (support), then 'fungal' compost tea (replace)?
 
Johnny Niamert
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It's best to use lavandin hybrids or crosses meant for oil production, if you're gonna try the lavender.

Leila Rich wrote:I'm not familiar with fungal issues. So knocking back unwanted fungi, and supporting/replacing with beneficial ones...
How about I spray a mix of lavender and chamomile (knock back), then raw milk (support), then 'fungal' compost tea (replace)?


That's how it's been best described to me. Sanitize, repopulate, then cultivate your beneficial friends to fight any future needs. Trichoderma could obviously fit in there, as well.

I've had bad luck foliar spraying compost teas. BUT, good compost is hard to find and I was using mass produced, bagged and purchased compost. A mistake by me. Improperly made/finished compost can do the opposite of what you want. A couple of experiences with bad compost made me stick to EM and milk for foliars.

Fungal infections are hard once established. Rest of this season may be practice for the winter/next spring.
 
Raine Bradford
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Location: Washburn, Missouri
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Leila, I know this is an old post, but I used trichoderma this spring for leaf curl and it worked wonders!!! I got a powder that was a mix of trichoderma and mycorrhizal beneficial fungi from website called kelp4less. I mixed it and made a foliar spray. I did it about 4 weeks after leaves emerged and there was already a lot of fruit set. I saw new healthy growth within a few days. I sprayed again about 10 days later, as the website recommended. Most of the infected leaves have dropped off by now (a month later) and you can barely tell there was a problem. Fruit looks fine. Can't believe people don't know about this.
 
Elizabeth Wheeler
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Raine Bradford wrote:Leila, I know this is an old post, but I used trichoderma this spring for leaf curl and it worked wonders!!! I got a powder that was a mix of trichoderma and mycorrhizal beneficial fungi from website called kelp4less. I mixed it and made a foliar spray. I did it about 4 weeks after leaves emerged and there was already a lot of fruit set. I saw new healthy growth within a few days. I sprayed again about 10 days later, as the website recommended. Most of the infected leaves have dropped off by now (a month later) and you can barely tell there was a problem. Fruit looks fine. Can't believe people don't know about this.


Raine, could you please pop back and tell us how your trees do this season? Leaf curl typically appears at the beginning of the growing season and in my experience, the affected leaves are generally quickly replaced by healthy leaves. Fruit might still look fine too, though it seems that trees that have been affected for years drop off in production and new trees don't establish as well. So, for me, what you've said doesn't necessarily indicate success - but for everyone's sake, I hope it does!
 
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