Horseradish is an amazingly cheap and simple, yet effective preventative for fungal disease in the garden and in household plants. . .
Penn State University announced in 1995 that minced horseradish holds promise in decontaminating wastewater and now says it may clean contaminated soils as well!
Penn State’s center for Bioremediation and Detoxification reports that minced horseradish combined with hydrogen peroxide can completely remove chlorinated phenols and other contaminants found in industrial wastes. Experiments involve applying the mixture directly to tainted soils or growing horseradish in contaminated soil and roto-tilling the roots just before applying hydrogen peroxide.
The cleansing properties of horseradish have been well known for more than two decades, however, creating a purified form has been far too expensive. This method has proved to be just as effective, but at a fraction of the cost!
Simple Horseradish Tea:
A simple home-brewed tea from horseradish roots can be used as a preventative spray for fungal diseases. This is especially useful against brown rot in apple trees. The white flesh of the horseradish root also contains significant amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin C.
How to Prepare the Tea:
- Process one cup of roots in a food processor till finely chopped.
- Combine this with 2 cups of water in a glass container and let soak for 24 hours.
- Strain liquid, discard the solids.
- Now transfer the mixture into a 2-quart sprayer and add enough water to fill the container.
- Shake lightly and apply as needed.
What does brown rot look like?
- Wilted, brown blossoms
- New shoots often have dark, sunken spots and brown leaves on affected limbs
- fruit develops spots that rapidly rot
- If fruit isn’t removed from the tree, it darkens, shrivels and becomes mummified
- If the mummified fruit is not removed, it eventually falls to the ground and causes the cycle to repeat.
What types of fruit trees are affected by brown rot?
Fruits that contain stones or pits such as apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, pluots, and plumcots are often affected by brown rot.
To help naturally avoid brown rot always plant fruit trees in a well-drained location that receives full sun, (6-8 hours daily). Regularly prune the trees to ensure they receive open lighting and circulation to prevent creating growing conditions for fungi. Always remove any pruned material and landscaping debris where fungi are likely to thrive.
Thin fruits that are touching as these are more prone to disease. Keeping a well maintained, clean growing site will ensure that the trees and the fruit have a chance to flourish.
Never compost fruit or limbs that are affected by brown rot, else the compost materials will become contaminated as well and spread to other plants, creating a much larger problem. Clean and sanitize all pruning tools between uses to help avoid spreading brown rot.
Here’s another trick we use to prevent worms and bugs from infected our apple trees
To prevent apple maggots and other pests from attacking and infesting your apples, simple slip an elastic band over the top of a footie and apply it to the apple, as shown in the video above. Footies come in a box of 144 and the best part is, your fruit won’t be sprayed with toxic chemicals to ensure it remains bug-free!