Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

How to get rid of Powdery Mildew

 I have a beautiful trailing squash Delica going up a trellis and over the top of my garden shed at the moment. There are some lovely fruit developing at the moment. Although the top leaves are large and healthy I spotted a potential problem down below.
 Powdery mildew is such a common thing at the end of a long, hot Summer but it has started early this year.  I white, downy powder appears on the leaves and gradually weakens the plant over a long period of time as well as looking bad.
 This powdery mildew is more common when the soil has been dry, and sappy new growth can be particularly susceptible. This is the first sign on the lower leaves of the plant so instead of using a commercial fungicide I decided to try one of the household remedies I have heard of.
 Mix a solution of about 3 parts water to 1 part MILK.  Spray on the leaves about once a week. Tidy up and discard any very badly affected leaves so as not to spread so many spores.
I have no idea whether this will work. I've been meaning to try one of these remedies. The other remedy I read about is using a teaspoon of baking soda in a quart of water and sprayed on leaves in this manner.  Has anyone used a milk solution with any success?


At 8:30 AM, Blogger Bob said...

I have one grapevine in particular where the grapes get mildew, I'm never sure how to treat them as I don't like to spray stuff directly on to them because they may be eaten.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Sarah said...

I have used milk and although I did it in an unscientific way ( no control plants etc) it seemed to help. The theory is that something in the milk encourages the growth of a type of microscopic thing that discourages the mildew. Good luck.

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Dorothy said...

I have a 30 year old vine in my conservatory This year it is completely covered in mildew, and the grapes are ruined can anyone advise me how to treat it for next year please. I tried the Garlic spray(a natural spray) but no good. Please help.

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Dorothy, powdery mildew is not usually fatal just unsightly and weakens the harvest. Should really be dealt with at the very first signs because once it is all over the plant you've had it for this year. Good hygiene is one, and you may probably have to invest in some systemic fungicide for next year.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Ms. Krieger said...

Matron, I've used the baking soda method. It seems to kill the powdery mildew on contact. I suspect the mildew cannot tolerate basic conditions (basic versus acidic) and that's why the milk helps, too (milk is basic).

The baking soda is not a magic bullet, but if the weather turns favorable again (warmer and drier) the treated plants seem to outgrow/tolerate PM for months.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger VP said...

I've normally let the powdery mildew do its thing. Thanks to you, I'm contemplating actually doing something about it when it finally strikes this year :)


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