Although blight is often referred to as a fungal spore, it can also be a protozoa, bacteria or virus as well. It's almost a catch all term for what often inflicts vegetation during damp or humid and windy conditions. It affects a wide variety of plants, from carrots to potatoes and apple trees to squash. It's hard on a plant, and even harder to get a harvest once your plant is infected.
After planting over 60 tomatoes, I was on the verge of loosing every single one of them to blight. I searched online for organic home remedies and found some, such as epsom salt dissolved in water. Unfortunately, I did not find that this particular solution made any noticeable difference to my plants.
Fermented foods are incredibly good for us. They provide loads of good bacteria to help fight and overpopulate the bad. It makes sense to reason then that fermented formulas would help us fight microbial pests in the garden too. After all, the soil could be likened to the human digestive system, with beneficial bacteria working hard to make nutrients available for use while keeping dangerous pathogens in check.
I recalled reading about a fermented garlic and ginger recipe to deal with fungal problems in the garden a long time ago. Since I'm learning to incorporate fermented foods in my diet, it felt appropriate to try this for my tomatoes as well.
The results to date have been amazing. My tomato plants are looking incredible and the tomatoes themselves are ripening quickly without any signs of being infected. I have been spraying this solution weekly to continue to keep the tomato plants healthy and to harvest what tomatoes remain on the plants.
What follows is the protocol and recipe I used:
Fermented Ginger & Garlic Spray (makes 2 gallons)
2 small garlic bulbs
2 small ginger roots (equivalent in size to the garlic)
1/2 cup cane sugar (do not use white sugar)
2 gallon mason jar with lid
Sprayer or mister
Peel, crush, chop and mince your garlic and place it into your mason jar. Do the same with your ginger. Fill with purified water, leaving one inch of head space. Do not use chlorinated water, as it will inhibit bacterial growth. Place lid on loosely. Let steep at room temper for 24 hours.
Add the cane sugar, stir and set the lid on top of the jar. I used a glass lid, which provides weight, but still allows air to bubble out as it ferments. Place in a warm spot for five days. The solution will turn cloudy when it is ready to use. Strain and refrigerate until you're ready to spray.
Remove all yellow leaves and any leaves touching the fruit on your tomato plants. Remove any additional leaves that may be inhibiting air circulation around your plants. Use a ratio of approximately 1/10 solution to 9/10 water (rain barrel water preferably). Spray the plants and fruit thoroughly. I continued to spray everything in my garden - except my lettuce - with this solution. Store leftover solution in a cold cellar or fridge until you need it again. When you're down to one batch left, start another jar fermenting.
Note: When I started experimenting with this solution, my aim was to save what was left of my harvest, and so I snapped off all new growth on my plants. I do not know if this solution would have allowed me to continue developing new fruit or not.
Linked to Fight Back Friday, Barn Hop, Tomato Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, WFMW, Health2Day
Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thurdsay, Living Well Blog Hop.