Garden Wide Fungal Infectio

Asked August 30, 2020, 11:37 AM EDT

My balcony garden started out great. Then in July it came crashing down. My plants began acting poorly and when I smelled the soil, it had a moldy smell. I started treating with neem oil both as a drench and a foliar spray. My harvest was poor, green beans and cukes that eventually stopped and the plants died back and I have tomatoes that have not grown in two months. I plan on replacing all of my soil and the containers it is in and starting fresh. What else can I do to prevent another fungal apocalypse next year. Is copper sulfate a better fungicide than neem oi? When should I start treating for fungus? Can copper sulfate be added to the soil before planting and if so how? Can you recommend any types of garden vegetables that are resistant to fungal infection. I have always gravitate to heirloom seed so any info on what to plant will be helpful. Thx for your help Carol Elgie I also have more pictures if needed.

Kalamazoo County Michigan

1 Response

Thanks for the question. It is 2020! Our hot temperatures have seemed to bring out all sorts of maladies. In many cases diseases are family specific so you are probably seeing different problems. Saying that your soil smells moldy could be an indication of excess water. When temperatures are high, some plants will have problems with pollination, and others may not thrive. Soil temperature can affect plant maturation. When temperatures are hot we tend to water more which will wash out certain nutrients and can cause root rot. Check for symptoms of nutrient deficiencies. Fertilizing make be required especially for heavy feeders. Weak plants are targets for disease and insects and can fail to thrive. Controlling insects can help to prevent diseases. When it comes to fungal disease prevention is important. It is also important to have good air circulation. If you are not getting good air circulation, A fan could help. Neem oil can work to prevent some fungal diseases, but like most fungicides it is best used as a preventative. Depending on the disease, other fungicides like copper sulphate can do a better job, it can help prevent bacterial diseases in addition to fungal diseases. Drenching is not usually required if you replace the soil. Identifying the disease is critical to find the appropriate control measures. Varieties that are resistant to certain diseases are usually identified by most seed suppliers. Check out the following links:

I hope this helps,