Saturday, December 27, 2008

Powdery Mildew

We are having a bit of an issue with powdery mildew on our ornamentals. These are our little calendulas growing by the broccoli out in the front yard garden.  We have had such a warm fall (see garlic post :) and powdery mildew is especially prevalent in these particular situations….. 

Warm temperatures and shady conditions encourage the fungus to grow and spread. However, the spores and mycelium are sensitive to extreme heat and direct sunlight.
...from Green Guides
Unfortunately, the spot where these are planted is still shady because our deciduous trees haven’t lost their leaves yet.  I’m trying 2 different solutions as sort of an I learned about on another blog using a milk and water mix and the other is the standard organic defense using baking soda.  Maybe the baking soda or milk mix combined with a bit of sunlight will take care of the problem.  It is still pretty sunny and the leaves are falling as we speak, plus the condition is not fatal. So I guess I’m not going to worry too much at this point. It shouldn’t spread to the broccoli, tends to keep to just a few plant species in our area and I knew calendulas were susceptible.    The only other advice I could find was to pull up all the infected plants...which is all the calendula plants in the garden, so that’s not happening.
I’ll take my chances with soda and milk.

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