Copstar, a copper fungicide approved for organic gardening, can be the ideal product for gardeners who prefer to avoid chemical fungicides. Using copper fungicides can be confusing but knowing exactly when and how to use copper fungicide is the key to success.
First you need to know what a copper fungicide is and how it works:
Copper is a metal that, in dissolved form, penetrates plant tissues and helps control fungal diseases. If you spray the leaves, it interacts with the fungus on the leaves, usually kills it and doesn’t allow it to reproduce.
It controls and prevents fungal diseases such as:
- Fruit spot
- Black spot
- Downy mildew
- Leaf curl
- Bacterial spot
The product works by protecting plants against development of new infections. Ideally, apply Copstar before fungus is visible. Otherwise, apply the product immediately when you first notice signs of fungal disease.
Few things to know before starting with your application:
There are three big mistakes you can make when trying to manage fungal diseases in your garden is:
First, starting to late. Usually people start spraying when you see a problem and it can be effective to get it under control if you start dealing with the fungus when the problem appears. But you really want to start 2 – 3 weeks before the fungus arrives in your garden. If it arrives one year, most liking it’s going to keep arriving year after year. Take note of when to start spraying preventively for the next year.
Secondly not to continue with a spraying routine. Your routine can be every 7, 10 or 14 days, but you want to pick a routine and stick to it. Mark it on a calendar or put it in your smart phone and keep the sprays going regularly.
The third, very critical thing is to spray during the right time of the day and not to apply Copstar on very hot days. Spray early mornings or in the evenings. If it’s too hot the leaves will be damaged.
How to apply Copstar:
Note: Remember to mark your sprayers with a sticker or a permanent marker: insecticides / fungicides sprayer and herbicides sprayer.
- Fill up the cleaned sprayer with half of the water needed for the mixture.
- Shake the product before measuring out the recommend dosage of product and pour into the sprayer.
- Fill up the sprayer with the rest of the water.
- Close sprayer and shake to mix.
- Solution is now ready to be sprayed.
The key to controlling fungal diseases is to get good coverage. Very important to spray the underside of the leaves first, especially when spraying for blight. Spray just before the point of run-off, because if it runs off, you’re contaminating the soil and the fungicide doesn’t do any good on the ground.
If you get rain on plants, you will need to re-apply.
A few pointers to keep in mind:
- Very important to follow the label on mixing and to observe the restrictions on harvest.
- Remember that the ratio that you mixed for one type of plant, is not necessary the correct ratio for the next. Once you have test spayed what ratio of mixture works the best for your garden, we advise to write the mixture on the bottle with a permanent marker for future use.
- Never mix copper fungicides with other chemicals and don’t over-apply fungicides.
- In case it’s time to prune your fruit trees, only spray after pruning. You don’t want to spray anything you are going to cut off.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of how and when to use copper fungicides.
Copstar, a copper fungicide distributed by Makhro Home and Garden is available nationwide. Visit our website www.makhro.co.za to view more product information or view our retailers.
Please feel free contact us should you require any further assistance.