I just may have beat Brown Rot this year

I know I’m really tempting fate and the fruit gods to prove me wrong by saying this too early, but it really looks like I have beat back brown rot this year on my peaches. To appreciate this, you first need to understand how bad it was the last 2 years- especially last year. I literally lost each and every peach on about 6 fully loaded peach trees last year!!! About 1-2 days before a peach was ripe enough to pick, I’d see that dreaded brown fuzz/hair/fungus start to form and within 24 hours the whole fruit would be covered in it. Any injured fruit would get hit even before the ripening stage. In short, I had it about as bad as it gets. My early peaches are ripening now, and I haven’t seen even a TRACE of brown rot. It is absolutely THRILLING to see my intervention make such a big difference! Even peaches that are touching (I left several twins this time because I had so few fruit after the late freeze we had) don’t have it, and they ALWAYS were the first to get brown spot in the past.

Last year I just sprayed dormant oil and copper in late winter and insect control the rest of the time (Imidan). This sounds naive but I’d never had brown rot in the years before that. This year I took a multi-faceted approach to ending up, but the problem now is I don’t know which thing I did worked. I also did a few things you may say I shouldn’t have, but it worked out. For example, I sprayed Copper (Kocide 3000) at bud swell, during bloom, and about every 10 days since then. I did weaken to to half strength durring bloom and post bloom. I have seen no damage to leaves or anything else.

I also sprayed both Myclobutanil AND Captan every 10 days starting at bud swell, durring bloom, and ever since. After petal drop its always been both of these 2 along with copper and imidan insect spray. I fully understand that this is fungicide overkill and somewhat wasteful. The problem is I kept reading in various places that each ingredient (even copper! Crazy or not, i saw a lot of places claiming copper would help brown rot, though that seems to not be the popular opinion) would help prevent brown rot, then I’d read elsewhere that each of those things were NOT very effective.against Brown Rot. Not wanting to loose all my peaches for a 3rd year, I intentionally went overboard and sprayed all 3 (Myclo, Captan, Copper) and even did so pre-bloom, during bloom, and every 10 days post bloom.

So again, my problem now is I don’t know which worked. To be honest, it wasn’t THAT expensive in my small orchard to use all 3, so I might do that again next year, Perhaps I’ll try different things on different trees and see which of the 3 seems to be doing the trick. I would also like to add that while it never bothered me much, my peaches have always had a lot of brown spots (bacterial spot and/or peach scab, not sure which I had) but it didn’t affect taste so I didn’t much care. But this year my peaches are all just picture perfect- not a single spot of any kind on any of them. A very nice side benefit of all the fungicides.

Again, all I can say so far is that my early peaches don’t have brown rot, and last year they had it BAD. It remains to be seen if my regular season peaches will do as well, but so far I’m pretty excited.


Good info, nice to see you don’t need the big guns. I myself try to use little copper as it is so persistent and harmful to the environment. I do like to experiment and this year I sprayed my tomato plants with some of my tree fungicides, and have noticed that the plants are staying clean. I had the start of Septoria spot which slowly kills all leaves on them… No leaves, no energy to make fruit. Anyway it seemed to have worked, and I don’t have a trace of it now. Nightshade grows all over here, and can host Septoria, so I have been trying to remove them all, but it is persistent and I keep seeing it all over. I doubt I am done, and it will come back. I sprayed plants early before fruit, now that the bees are on them, no way. I don’t want to risk harming the bees and they will ingest the fungicide if I spray. My plants are so advanced now, I’m going to get a bigger yield as even if I get it today I’m way ahead of Septoria this year. So I’ll be spraying them in future years. it could be another factor that helped and not my sprays. i will have to repeat in future years. One observation doesn’t make it a correct assumption. The game not over for you either, so don’t count those chickens just yet!

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Interesting information. And by all means, you are 100% correct that I’m being pretty darn optimistic and “counting my chickens” way too early. My main peach crop (mid season, red haven and those within a week of it) are still golf-ball sized green fruit which never showed brown rot problems at that stage before. But make no mistake, my early peaches had it bad by this time last year, so if they hold out and don’t show brown rot for another 5 days or so then I’ll have something to crow about.

You probably know I’m a bee keeper, so obviously I was very concerned about spraying anything DURING bloom. I’d never spray an insecticide at bloom, but I’ve read that captan and Myclo aren’t all that bad (I didn’t say harmless) on bees. My bee hives are 25 feet from my peach trees and I must say I never detected any harm whatsoever this year from spraying the fungicides at bloom. That being said, I also know bees are complicated and there could be problems of all kinds (egg laying, larvae development, foraging issues, etc etc) that don’t show up as dead bees immediately after spraying. But so far everything seems normal. But you are right to be concerned. As an off-topic note, I must say I’ve been surprised and a bit disappointed for the 3 years I’ve been bee keeping (ie before I sprayed near bloom times) that even though my hives are in the middle of my orchard, honey bees just don’t work my fruit tree blooms the way I’d expected. It is actually pretty rare to see them on anyting except a cherry tree, which they do seem to enjoy. I see them WAY way way more often working the darn clover blooms in the wild clover all over my orchard (I’m not about to use 2, 4-D to get rid of clover! ha)

I’m not familiar with Septoria spot but I’ve probably seen it on my tomatoes and just don’t know what it is called.

Like you said, the good news here is- if my success against brown rot is real and continues into regular season peaches- that I didn’t have to use the “big guns”, i.e. the really expensive stuff. Honestly, I think I can use myclobutanil, captan, AND copper and still be cheaper than some of the other things I’ve priced out. But I suspect one or two of those is doing all the magic, just wish I knew which one. That being said, a LOT of the various University Web Sites and publications suggest using Myclo and Captan together for some reason.

Good look with your tomatoes, you always get nice ones. Thanks to my tractor being broken down I haven’t planted a garden for the first time in 35 years and its killing me! I should have at least planted a few tomatoes and still might.

Brown rot continues to worsen til weather cools, often the early things escape much damage. My apricots always did pretty well even with limited spraying. So, don’t get too excited yet. My recollection is both Captan and myclobuitanil provide some protection so it could end up working out fine with your combo idea.

Yes a very good sign all is well. We are in a war and every battle counts.

LOL, This year for me it’s PC that seems determined to enter my fruit. I could be OK, or maybe not we will see!

WHEW!!! You’ve seen my constant cries about PC and OFM and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. I sincerely wish you all the best in dealing with PC! What is strange to me is how much more they will prefer one fruit to another. For example, at my location they will hit white peaches and white nectarines 5 times harder than yellows!!! I’m also amazed at how quickly they can hit every single fruit on a very large tree. I’ve checked a tree at like 6 pm one evening and again at lunch time the very next day and seen it go from only having a handfull of scars to seeing that tiny little slit in almost every fruit on a big tree- in ONE NIGHT!!! Good luck!

@scottfsmith I know you are right- it got progressively worse last year every week. But as I said, my first ripe peaches (early season) were also a total loss last year and I already have a few ripe ones this year and no sign. But as you both point out and I said myself in the OP, I shouldn’t be tempting fate and the fruit gods by saying I’ve won or even that I am winning SO FAR.

BTW, Scott…I don’t like when you prophesize about the future!!! haha That is because you have done it 3 times for me and each time was just frightening how accurate your predictions were. All were predictions and time lines for arrival of ugly things: Black Rot on grapes, Brown Rot on peaches, and most recently (I haven’t even told you how right you were on this one) the arrival of Black Knot on my European Plums. So next time you tell me something that I may be facing in the future, could you please predict that I’ll have a record crop of perfect fruit of some kind? hahaha

( I’ll be picking your brain on Black knot soon…I hope I don’t have to just pull my Euro Plums like you did!)

I was hit hard with PC and a little with brown rot this year. Very disappointing and horrible spray timing on my part. I did not realize just how soon I had to spray for PC. By the time I got around to spraying damn near everything had scars. Both Sweet and Sour cherries of mine were hit with brown rot. Peaches never made it that far as they were hit by PC. I pretty much just have pears and a small amount of apples remaining. I will have to enjoy my berries because that will be my primary harvest for this year. Now that I purchased some Imidan I’ll make sure I get a spray of that in much earlier than I did this year. Maybe I’ll even mix it with surround.

Yes, I’m seeing that too. Both ways, they didn’t touch Flavor King at all!? @scottfsmith I know you were not happy with Flavor King production, this year it has put more fruit on then any other tree, also another low producer is Flavor Queen, and that one too, has more than it ever had. Most don’t like this fruit, but it tastes tropical with a little coconut flavor, fabulous if you ask me.

Its Flavor Supreme which didn’t produce. Flavor King produced like mad and then rotted like mad. I took it out before I tried any synthetics, I could probably grow it now if I wanted to try again.

@thecityman, I think you may do fine with your spray program for brown rot, two somewhat effective things can add up to effective. So I wasn’t doing my negative prophesy trick on that one :grinning: Also for black knot I have only removed one tree due to bad knot, all the others I just cut 'em out. I do a sloppy job and sometimes they come back next year but it doesn’t take a whole lot of time and I rarely lose more than a small part of the tree. The main problem with Euro plums is brown rot, they are in the Flavor King league of massive rotters.

Yes, I topped worked mine. OK, I thought King was a low producer, not as bad as Supreme, just not as good as others. Brown rot is not super bad here, so not something I need to consider.

OK, thanks Scott. Somehow I had in my mind that you removed all your euro plums due to Black Knot, so I’m suddenly very relieved. My worse one is actually Blue Damson. What I hate about that is everyone tells me that particular plum is not good to eat at all, mostly just good for jam and jelly. Seems a shame to spread Black Knot from an almost useless tree. I had to cut out 1/3 of the tree in order to get rid of all the black knot.

I removed all my Damsons for that reason, why grow a plum only for jam?

But, not too long ago I bought some Damson jam and discovered paradise! One of these years I am going to make room for Damson again, probably several trees, and make that my jam session.

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Thanks so much for telling me that! I’ve been debating pulling it for exactly the reason you just gave. But I have 6 years invested in that tree, I think it is a good pollinator for some of my other euros, and I’m a big jam maker and lover. After hearing you pulled yours and now might grow another one helps me think on keeping mine!

I had brown rot on cherries. I sprayed @JoeReal organic spray May 29th but that was too late for the cherries since brown rot had already started.
Everything else is clean so far. I’m very happy since it’s been a very wet season with high humidity except for the end of June and first week of July. Sprayed JoeReals mix May 29th, Fungi-Fighter (propiconazole) June 4th, JoeReals mix July 9th.

JoeReal’s formula: Safe Organic Control of Peach Leaf Curl and other Fungal Diseases