Neem oil as vegetable garden preventative? (baking soda,soap)

New York, NY(Zone 7a)

Just planted seedlings for a vegetable garden in my backyard side bed. Including early girl and grape tomatoes, carmen pepper, zucchini, pole beans, Japanese shikou eggplant, Genovese Italian basil, and Italian flat leaf parsley.

5 Questions:
1) Is it a good idea to do a neem oil spray as a preventative?
2) If it's a good idea for the neem. Should it be done right away for the new transplanted seedlings, do they need time to adjust, or at what point?
3) Adding baking soda, or horticultural soap (potassium salts of fatty acids), or both to the neem mix (think I saw a suggestion somewhere to add baking soda to a neem oil mix.?)
4) I read before of using a baking soda and soap only combo for fungal disease, Is this a better option?

It's my 2nd try for pole beans, and 3rd try for zucchini. Zucchini in past attempts looks like they are going good and then shortly after trying to fruit yellow and die. Pole beans also did not work out. Past cubanelle pepper and ichiban eggplant also did not do very well with little fruit and some yellowing leaves at certain times of the season (I try not to over water, so don't think that's causing the yellowing).

5) Thinking it might have been some fungal disease from the humid Long Island, NY summers. This is why I'm asking about the preventative?


New York, NY(Zone 7a)

No one does any kind of a preventative spray for their vegetable/herb edible gardening?

Boston, MA(Zone 6b)

Sorry for the delay, I didn't see this until today. If you are still listening, I also have systemic issues with fungus in my garden and use daconil,

I have learned to use this as a preventative and start spraying once a week beginning about two weeks after I plant. I use 4 tsps/gallon in a pump sprayer and spray the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and squash once a week for the season. I also remove any infected looking leaves as soon as they appear. If I don't do both of these things, all of the plants eventually turn yellow and die. I have never had problems with beans or lettuce, so those don't get sprayed.

I also spray a calcium spray on the tomatoes, peppers, and squash,

This is important is you are getting flowers that fruit and then rot and fall off before they mature.

I spray the daconil on my roses, hollyhocks, and impatients as well. I think it does a pretty good job overall.

I also have the bonide copper fungicide,

which I would use if the daconil doesn't work with something.

There always seems to be something chewing on more or less everything in the yard. If I didn't use fungicides, I wouldn't have a living plant in the garden other than crabgrass and marigolds.

Have you had your soil tested lately? It's worth the $15 or so to have it done. If you are having issues with most of the plants you are growing, it makes sense to check the pH and nutrient levels to see where you are. Such information makes it much easier to make informed choices about what to add and not to add.


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