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Monday, July 4, 2011

Powdery Mildew: What Does it Look Like?

We have diseases that are bacteria, like Septoria/Leaf Spot and Early Blight. They can infect more then tomatoes. Their life cycle is spores. We have mildews and the main mildew, in our area, is Powdery Mildew. Toss in the beetles, whiteflies, mites, aphids, and bad insects... it is a wonder we can grow anything. Ah... don't forget the slugs!

Keep in mind the above invaders to our garden don't just attack vegetable plants. They live on all plants. And try as you might... you can't eradicate them. You can build a greenhouse and grow plants in sterile material. This might be as close as you can get to a 'clean enviroment'.

Powdery Mildew will grow on flowering plants. Here is a picture of the mildew on a flowering plant in my brother's yard I took during vacation. It is not on his vegetables - yet. The pro to flowering plants is they may show you it (disease) is in the garden and time to preventatively spray. Different leaves are better hosts for diseases. 

Powdery Mildew: Gary Pilarchik
Powdery Mildew: Gary Pilarchik
Click To Enlarge the Powdery Mildew Spots: Gary Pilarchik

If you click and double click the photographs they will enlarge and you will see white. It looks like powder. It stays put and doesn't puff. It is time for preventative spraying of all the plants.

You can use wettable sulfur as I do. I have also had success with baking soda. Sulfur, I use 1 heaping tablespoon per gallon. If you are going to use baking soda, I would recommend 2-3 heaping tablespoon full per gallon as a preventative. Please test the leaves of your plant before using anything you create. You want to make sure you don't damage them. Spray a group of leaves on several plants and wait 36 hours. 

If I see a plant with Powdery Mildew on a few leaves, I remove the leaves and over soak the plant with preventative spray. Powdery Mildew will be on your plant - everywhere; top leaves, bottom leaves, stems, and even fruit in some cases. I might spray every day with the preventative for 3-5 days. My goal is to keep the leaves of the plants inhospitable to the invader.

If you have a bad case of mildew, it is worth buying a store made spray. You can select what you feel is best for your gardening practices. Use the store bought sprays on the visibly infected plants. Use the preventive spray on everything else.

Visit My Video How To Website: My Tomato and Vegetable Garden. Construction began July 2011 and it will host How to Garden Videos for all things gardening. The website differs from my blog: The Rusted Vegetable Garden in that it is primarily video content with few articles. The site will grow quickly.

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