How to Defeat Powdery Mildew Organically

Powdery mildew on pumpkin leaves

Powdery mildew on pumpkin leaves

Have you spotted powdery mildew spots on your plant or tree leaves?

Today is Beginner Gardener Wednesday which is our latest series. Every Wednesday, we provide easy-to-grow plants, trees and landscaping ideas. Today we are sharing about how to defeat a common garden disease.

My friends recently went out of town and they asked if I could help with their garden. They even said I can keep all the vegetables from the gardens that were ready to pick during this time. Of course I was on board.

The other day, when I visited this garden, I found tomatoes, green pepper, squash, and zucchini. I was so excited to see many had ripened. Then I noticed some powdery mildew on the zucchini leaves. This garden is a community garden, so I looked around at the others and saw that it was a common occurrence especially on the zucchini leaves.

According to Organic Gardening, powdery mildew will not kill the plants, but it could affect the taste of the vegetables. It is a prevalent plant disease that can be easily identified and affect a wide array of plants including vegetables, shrubs, fruit trees, broad-leaved shade trees and more.

The First Step in Defeating this Disease is to Recognize it

Colorado State University had this to say about the powdery mildew,

Even though there are several types of powdery mildew fungi, they all produce similar symptoms on plant parts. Powdery mildews are characterized by spots or patches of white to grayish, talcum-powderlike growth. Tiny, pinhead-sized, spherical fruiting structures that are first white, later yellow-brown and finally black, may be present singly or in a group. These are the cleistothecia or overwintering bodies of the fungus.”

Colorado State University also said that they grow on the surface on the plant never affecting the tissue.

How to Stop Powdery Mildew Organically

Organic Gardening, which is a great source, has a few organic suggestions.

  • Step One:
    As stated above, the first step in conquering powdery mildew is to recognize the disease on your plant’s leaves.
  • Step Two:
    The second step is to pick off all the leaves that have been affected by the powdery mildew.
  • Step Three:
    Next, spray the plant’s leaves with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking soda combined with 2.5 tablespoons of a lightweight horticultural oil and 1 quart of water.
  • Step Four:
    Our fourth suggestion is a great way to prevent powdery mildew by stopping it from happening in the first place. We suggest installing Rootsticks around your plants and Rootwell Pro318s around your trees. These direct to root watering systems help to strengthen the root zone and encourage the plant to grow strong and healthy. Healthier plants are better equipped to survive when disease hits.

Today’s Beginner Gardening Challenge is to take a look at your garden to see if there is any powdery mildew and defeat it.

Have you ever had to deal with powdery mildew?

Image credit: Jeff Kubina, Wikimedia Commons, Permission of use granted.

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