- Jan 14, 2019
- Reaction score
- Birmingham AL (Zone 8a)
From what I have read, salicylic acid acid acts as an auxin, like you say a phytohormone. Auxins promote tip growth both above and below ground. I use auxins up until flowering starts. One drop per gallon of water. Now I read they are focused on SA as a plant defense and general promoter of plant health. The reason I got off aspirin was that while in my case I was trying it for powdery mildews, I read that it also acts as another family of phytohormones related to senescence. I did not, and still do not, really know much about that side of the plant cycle so I have chilled out. It seems to help animal cells live longer from what I am reading now. It will be fun to dig deeper, so to speak. And I was using aspirin, made by the reaction of salisylic acid and acetic acid. So not the same either. Damn tomatoes can get complicated can they not?Around here we’ve had our share of tomato problems, never enough to wipe out a crop but by late fall the plants would be pretty ugly. Usually we’ve gotten enough sauce etc that it’s no big deal and we just call it a wash, move on.
last year i did some reading about folks using salicylic acid (aspirin) to treat tomato problems. Well, being a bit geeky; i went on line and found numerous highly technical articles detailing research with tomato, cucumber and bean’s. These are the main crop in my greenhouse so i was happy it pertained across the board. Now when i say “highly technical” im talking articles that i can only pronounce half the words in a sentence!!
Then the geek in me went looking for a pure form, wanting to avoid what ever else may be in a common aspirin, and easily found U.S.P grade salicylic acid in 4 oz packages!
these articles explained that this stuff is actually a plant hormonal exudate and how it stimulates the plants natural defense’s to ward off various pathogens.
Armed with this tidbit i went back to the original aspirin articles to learn about dosing etc and settled on one 1/16th teaspoon in a 5 gallon size planting hole, spread evenly around the sides before transplanting the tomato into the hole. the article discussed using a foliar spray at first flowering as well but my stuff was entirely clean and i blew that part off.
At seasons end i can say with certainty i saw dramatic improvement on tomato’s and beans. Cukes still need some tweaking.
Here’s a picture of one Celebrity plant, 12 ft. Wide, 14 ft. Tall and 8 ft. Thick from front to back. This picture was taken in early October. As you can see, it’s still pretty clean! It was transplanted into the greenhouse April 15th.
I will continue using this method another year before drawing a firm conclusion but hey, it looks pretty good to me.