Last year, fungus fungus everywhere

Hi all,
I live in Zone 4 - Northern VT. Last year was not a good year for my garden. We had a very wet, cold rainy summer and the garden rarely had a chance to dry out. Hence the fungus thrived - my tomatoes all but keeled over from blight, the strawberries were covered with gray mold, the lilacs lived under a sheath of powdery mildew. Basically the fungus family had a field day and there was little I could do. Baking soda spray wouldn't touch it. Copper sulfate didn't do much for it.
Hoping that this summer will be a bit dryer. I'm not entirely an organic gardener, I am a chemist so I make my own decision knowing what I do about chemicals, but I don't use too many commercially manufactured pesticides or fungicides. I rotate crops every year, and I keep the diseased plants out of the compost and soil as much as possible. I plan to use a plastic mulch this year to keep the soil from splashing up onto the tomato plants. Can anyone give me any other advice in terms of preparing my fungus infested soil?
Thanks much.
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snipped-for-privacy@pinheadc.om wrote:

I've heard that compost tea is a good inoculant against fungal disease. You could brew up a batch and try watering your soil with it pre-planting, although it's usually sprayed onto plants directly.
Also, I don't have personal experience of their fungicides, but Gardens Alive! (www.gardensalive.com) sells lots of fungicidal goodness. If you're worried about root rot, they sell beneficial fungus you can prepare your soil with pre-planting. http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn 62
-Natalka
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On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 17:01:35 +0000 (UTC), Natalka Rosalia Maria Roshak

Thanks much --
I'll try the compost tea as a pre-treatment - also that gardensalive has a fungicide that seems worth trying, it's copper but in some other form that may be more effective than copper sulfate; which generally leaves a lot of residue and clogs the sprayer no matter what I try.
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If you have a wet summer, plant cabbage, greens, beets, celery, favas, peas, potatoes. Whatever will take the weather. As you say, there is little you can do. I live in a warmer zone than you (Zone 5.5), and I have all but given up on eggplants, I am giving a last chance to peppers this summer, and the racoons have counseled me to give up the strawberries. I am dissatisfied with the tomatoes and zucchini, this place just does not have tomato weather (reliably) in the summer.
But under the tunnels right now I am picking every week buckets of hardy greens, and my siberian garlic is the best of the best. You have to adapt. Cool season veggies have a lot to offer. More nutrients, more production per square foot, more medicinal value, a harvest that extends to Thanksgiving even without cover.
snipped-for-privacy@pinheadc.om wrote:

had
mold,
other
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My potatoes loved the wet summer; and the brussel sprouts did really well, as did the carrots (I found that surprising). I am learning what veggies do best up here, course trying to find that plus those which my husband will eat, leaves a very small opportunity! So I'm thinking potatoes, garlic, brussel sprouts, basil (for pesto).
I am absolutely hooked on tomatoes though; I am almost out of sauce, and usually I make enough tomato sauce to last a year. By sheer will I am going to get them through the summer! They actually do fine on the dry summers; the weather is really variable up here. Sometimes it's 90 in May and sometimes it snows in June! The strawberry patch will likely feed the birds, who generally eat a few bites and spit them out anyway.

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Ally wrote:

what
There are many cool season veggies that are tasty. Of course potatoes (fingerlings and Yukon, but just about any freshly dug potato will do) and northern garlic is superior. But also sorrel soup is the best soup, and most perennial herbs can be grown in your zone. Then there are mushrooms, spinach. Favas and peas are great, specially when you eat them out of the freezer the next winter. Long-headed radicchio, baked in the oven with olive oil and salt, makes everyone swoon. In the fall, we love to mix carrot sticks, thinly sliced red cabbage, thyme and salad dressing.

I
90
out
I would select a spot on the sunny side of the house, which will warm and dry the fastest. And I would restrict myself to extra early (stupice), canning (roma), and cherry. Cherry tomatoes may not be first but they are early, and as far as I can tell they are the most productive in a cool summer, so long as they get their compost.
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il 12 Jan 2005 12:26:35 -0800, "simy1" ha scritto:

This is a bit late to comment. However... There is a cool weather tomato called Russian Red. It's a fairly stumpy looking thing when compared to other whispy young tomtato plants. Do you have that variety or others like it?
--
Cheers,
Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
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Thanks, I'll have a look for it.
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Why are you thinking potatoes?

Manthing gave me a favour and stop trying to hide.
-- Lady Chatterly
"No Kenny, the one who didn't know it was a bot was you. Watching you argue with 'her' with all your scatological spew, was highly amusing. All of AUK was laughing at you, Kenny Kakes." -- Ross
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