Tomatoes

When You Mist Yourself With Fungicide

My beloved Amazon really followed through with my overnighted copper fungicide. Little did I know, copper fungicide is a really rich turquoise color! Not really relevant to its efficacy, but I thought it was at least worth noting…

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I usually come home for my lunch break. This gives me 20-25 minutes at home before I need to head back to work – tops.  So as I walked in the door, I simultaneously let my dog outside, and opened my fungicide package, while reading the instructions which went something like this:  “Dilute 2 oz of the concentrate in a gallon of water, and spray on plants, thoroughly (including the tops and bottoms of leaves.)” 

Luckily, I had a gallon of water in my pantry, so I quickly measured off two ounces of the copper, mixed it into the gallon, and funneled it into a spray bottle.

I ushered my dog and cat inside (the instructions on the fungicide said to not allow the mist to come into contact with people or animals.)

And I started misting.

In my hurry, and in the mid-day breeze, I most definitely sprayed myself with this diluted copper.

I finished up thoroughly spraying my tomatoes, washed my hands, and then re-read the instructions on the spray. Let me tell you, they certainly make it sound pretty terrifying if you spray yourself with this stuff. The instructions said something along the lines of “wash your skin really well, change your clothes, and call poison control.”

WHAT?! Really? I thought this stuff was organic. 

So, I panicked, and called the number on the label.

I thought I was calling poison control, but really I was connected with the National Pesticide Information Center. BUT, the good news is, the poor guy that answered my call was very reassuring. He looked up the spray, and told me that the toxicity level of this spray is “very low.”

“Excellent,” I thought, as my heart rate slowed down just a bit.

The kind man at NPIC stayed on the phone with me, doing a little research on his end, but the initial cause for alarm wasn’t quite as warranted as I thought.

“Phew, it looks like I’ll live to see the day that these tomatoes actually ripen.”

As I write this, it’s a little embarrassing. I shouldn’t have immediately thought I poisoned myself I suppose… but as I watched the blue mist dry on my bare arms, I tried to think of all the things I know about copper, and let me tell you – it’s not very much, so I thought the worst. I can tell you that I write this a week after the incident, and I am no worse for the wear.

There’s also more good news! IT WORKED! After trimming the infected leaves, and drenching the plants with the diluted fungicide, I haven’t seen a recurrence of the spots. 

Also, now that I know the negative repercussions of days of endless rain, I can use the spray proactively. As I write this today, we’re coming off of 3 days of cool, overcast, rainy days. But, I knew it was coming this time. So, I reapplied the spray the day before I knew the storms were due to move in. (Make sure you apply with at least 12 hours of drying time before rain is expected.)

So far, so good.

No spots to speak of.

But you can bet I’ll be monitoring them closely. On yesterday’s inspection, I noticed that a couple of fruits have a slight hint of yellow, which means I have to be moving in the right direction, right?!

What about you? Do you use any organic sprays to prevent sickness or pests?

2 Comments

  1. So your organic spray is cooper sulfate? 😀 I recognized the color of the solution. The popular name in my language is purple dust (because the sulfate is purple in its original form). It’s used on every vegetable and on grapevine to prevent blight and I remember having blue hands when I was little and “helping” my grandparents in the garden.
    Make sure to wash the veggies very well, it gives you indigestion if you eat them straight out of the vine (personal experience from my younger and hungrier days:D).
    Glad to hear your tomatoes are doing well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *