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Gardening Articles for week ending 20th October 2018

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Written by Wally Richards.
SAFELY OVERCOMING NUMEROUS PLANT DISEASES

Here is an interesting story: Many years ago the New Zealand supplier of several products we repackage for the home garden market suggested a product they have sell also.
The product builds up the immune system of plants and helps them to overcome a range of diseases in particular wet weather diseases.
I read the studies and trials on the product and decided to stock it calling the product 'Perkfection for Roses'
At that time the product was been sold as a registered fungicide for a range of plant diseases but as it actually has an NPK rating it was also sold at a lessor price as a liquid fertiliser.
The registered product was much more expensive to recover costs. It is expensive and time consuming to register a product with the Govt. Also every disease that it can be used for has to be registered to allow that to be included on the label.
Not only do you have to pay a fee to register and an annual fee to keep the registration current but also you have to have expensive studies done to prove that the use stated will in actual fact work.
Thus in plant remedy products one can often find that a product labeled for such and such may actually do a greater range of conditions which are not stated on the label.
Sneaky people like myself find out that a product is also good for some other condition and we let the cat out of the bag.
Thus we had the same product under two different names, for two very different uses (one a fungicide that was registered and one as a liquid fertiliser that does not require registration)
Commercial growers soon discovered that both products were the same so they naturally purchased the cheaper one and sales of the expensive one fell off and the producer stopped labeling it and canceled the registration. Likely much to the dismay of those that were collecting fees on the product.
Govt regulations state that claims on products must be proven and correct for registration.
This is supposed to protect the public from snake oils and love potions number 9.
Adverse aspects of products should also be displayed on the label for safety reasons so that the consumer can make an informed choice as to whether they use the product or not and what degree of heath risk to themselves and the environment.
I completely agree with an informed safety notices. It is just a pity that often manufactures either do not know, or if they do know, the dangers of the product, they do not reveal this information which would affect sales.
Then some years later, after likely much suffering to peoples health the dangers are revealed. I am thinking of things such as lead, mercury, DDT, and Asbestos.
(I found this out during the week that: Some versions of mastic or bitumen based Pressed Metal Roof Tiles produced prior to the early 1980s contain asbestos.
This means that prior to any work done on roofs of this type, expensive tests need to be done and if they do contain asbestos you are in for a very expensive time)
It is a pity that a popular herbicide does not carry the warning as possible carcinogenic causing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma but I bet my bottom dollar one day it will do so, after hundreds more people have suffered.
Now I have had my little plug for the health of humans lets get back to health for plants.
The active ingredient of Perkfection is ‘Phosphite ion’ or Phosphonic Acid. (Potassium ions are also present).
There is no withholding period when used on food crops.
We have suggested Perkfection for Roses and Other Plants as an alternative to more toxic sprays, for the assistance in recovery from/or prevention of, the following problems,
Black spot, Downy Mildew, Phytophthora Root rot, Canker, heart rot, damping off, crown rot, leaf blight, silver leaf, late blight, collar rot, pink rot, brown rot, Armillaria, and gummy stem rot.
Now that’s quiet a list of diseases and it also means that many of your disease related problems can be overcome with this safe to use product.
Besides using Perkfection over your roses for the likes of Black spot and Downy mildew you can also use it as a spray over all your fruiting plants and trees including your strawberries.
It can be used also over your potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, beans, cucurbits (cucumbers etc) lawns, onions, passion fruit, Cauliflowers, cybidium orchids and ornamental plants and vines.. In fact there is no where you cannot use Perkfection to advantage.
Being ‘Synthetic Organic Phosphates’ what you are doing, is placing this valuable material, onto the foliage of your plants, where it is very readily absorbed and transferred through the whole of the plant.
This fortifies the plant’s cells, increases the plant’s immune system and makes your plants less susceptible to invading pathogens.
There is however a down side, as with any good thing, you can have too much and the recommendation is to use Perkfection at 4 ml per litre of spray once a month only and only for about 5 times in a season.
(Note a season is the normal period of time for that crop or plant. Roses are from Spring till Autumn. Most annuals 5-6 months.)
The reason is that, you can over load your plant with organic phosphates causing a clogging of the cells and halting growth until the system clears.
In saying that you can on the first spray for a existing problem use Perkfection at 7 mls per litre safely.
Prevention is better than cure and by spraying your plants in the spring you give the greatest protection to leaves and fruit, autumn spray will give greatest protection to roots and tubers.
I have suggested that on the 1st of the month to spray your roses and other plants with Perkfection, Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) and Mycorrcin. 14 days later spray with Mycorrcin and MBL.
If insects problems occur then add Wallys Super Neem Tree Oil with Super Pyrethrum added..
All these sprays are compatible. They are all safe to use with them being natural and that’s what we need in this day and age.
Perkfection is marvelous for restoring the health of Buxus that are affected by the Buxus disease.
Simply spray at the 7 mil rate and then for next 3-4 months at the 4mil rate.
If your Buxus is looking good then spray every couple of months at the 4mil rate to ensure better prevention. Use the MBL and Mycorrcin combination also for improved health.
Silver leaf disease on fruit trees and roses was fatal in the past but with Perkfection if you start before the disease gets too far advanced then you can save the tree/rose.
Ideally remove the affected branches that show the disease and do so on a sunny dry day. Protect the wound with a coating of acrylic paint with Wallys Liquid Copper added.
Then spray the foliage remaining with Perkfection at 7 mils then at 4 mils each month for 5 months or till leaf fall.
Start again once a good show of foliage is present in the new season. If the plant has not gone beyond the point of no return then you will likely save it.
I have saved a tomato plant that had caught blight by a few sprays of Perkfection.
Excellent to help recovery of citrus trees and other plants that are suffering from wet feet and root rots.
As a health aspect for your preferred plants and food crops a 2-3 monthly spray of Perkfection will fortify and improve performance.