Q&A: How can I control powdery mildew organically?


A bouquet of mixed dahlias
Q. Each year my cucumbers, courgettes, dahlias, gerberas, calendulas and other plants get powdery mildew. Is there a way to control this organically? Kelly

A. You can keep on top of powdery mildews with a homemade milk spray. The natural antibiotics in milk, as well as the production of other constituents upon exposure to sunlight, act as a natural fungicide. A dilution rate of one part milk to nine parts water is generally recommended; too much milk can encourage the growth of sooty mould. The spray should be used regularly, every 7 to 10 days, and a good coverage of the leaves is required. Bear in mind that this spray won’t get rid of your existing mildew, but it helps to keep it from spreading.
The baking soda method offers another organic solution. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with a litre of water and spray it over the leaves. Jane

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