The term powdery mildew might sound cute, but the disease is more of a nuisance to any person who takes plant cultivation seriously. Powdery mildew is a common disease of plants mostly flowering and vegetables caused by the lot of 100 species of fungi belonging to the Erysiphales order. It can easily multiply in your garden due to the moist and cold environment the plants provide.
The disease is easy to identify given its distinguishable dusty appearance of white to gray coating on the leaves. It also causes disfigurement of the flowers as well as plant shoots and to a some extent the roots. Although, the disease is not fatal to your plants, it lessens the aesthetic value of flowers with a change in the flavor of vegetables. Some might be concerned with the effects of the disease on humans and despite the reports of long-term ailments of the respiratory system developing, none have been conclusive so far.
Nevertheless, seeking powdery mildew treatment should be on top of your gardening checklist as the disease can easily spread and progress. Another problem with finding the right treatment is that you might have to try a few before finally getting rid of the disease. It would be best if you try the natural methods first as using of chemical fungicide may cause adverse health conditions especially when not applied properly. To help you with your powdery mildew problem, below are the top treatments that have been proven to successfully eradicate the annoying disease once and for all:
1) Baking soda. Top on the list of powdery mildew treatment is baking soda. Not only is this considered a cleaning agent in most households but an effective way to eliminate powdery mildew. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda and one quart of water thoroughly. You can then use a spraying bottle to apply the mixture to the affected parts. The change in pH level of the plants from use of baking soda is the secret of this effective treatment.
2) Milk. You can complement the use of baking soda with the spraying of cow’s milk, which is a good prevention for the spreading of the disease. Dilute one part of milk to nine parts of water, spray, and rub the mixture on the affected plant parts especially on the underside of the leaves, where the mildew is usually plentiful.
3) Garlic. This powdery mildew treatment works as a natural fungicide as it is high in sulfur. To make your own garlic fungicide, crush four medium-sized cloves of garlic in one pint of water. You can spray the mixture once every two weeks.
You need to complement the above treatments with the correct plant hygiene. Trim infected plant parts with a clean pruning shears by dipping the shears in a mixture of water and bleach to prevent spreading of the disease. Remove dead plant parts as these can be sources of food for the fungus. Dispose of the cut plant parts by using them as mulch or burying them.
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