Aerated compost tea and other alternative treatments for disease control in pumpkins

Objectives Statement a. To investigate the effectiveness of compost tea in suppressing fungal diseases of pumpkins and promoting overall crop health and yields; to demonstrate that compost tea can be an effective tool for managing fungal diseases when used as part of an organic / non-chemical farming system. Modification: The proposal was originally written with potato as the test crop. This was changed to pumpkin to ensure disease presence. b. To investigate two relatively new and undocumented techniques, soil amendment with ground basalt and silica sprays for plant disease suppression; to obtain some clear data and indications of the effectiveness of these treatments. c. To effectively disseminate information about compost tea and our results through a mid-season evening field walk on our plots and a post-harvest grower field day. We are also hopeful that results obtained on the sandy soils of Long Island will be applicable to Maine, upstate NY, and elsewhere in the Northeast and Canada where sandy soils and cooler temperatures prevail. Modification: We were not able to hold a mid-season evening field walk on the plots. We substituted this with a presentation at the BioCycle conference during the growing season.