controlling mildew with milk/water

tabassamSeptember 20, 2003

I was wondering if anyone uses one part milk to 10 parts water on mildewy foliage. I had little milk left in one of my son's bottles and filled it with water and squirted a phlox doomed with mildew and I could swear it looked better the next day. My neighbors think I'm crazy.

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njcher(Zone 6)

I do. It is amazing how that works. I have always had a problem with powdery mildew and someone told me to try Lysol with the mildicide in it. Well, being organic I didn't think that was too hot of a solution but I did experiment with it. Terrible solution. Strips the leaves of the plant, ech, would never, ever do it again. Plus it doesn't work, either!

So then someone suggested the milk formula to me and I was amazed at how it stopped powdery mildew right in its tracks. Trouble with this solution, though, is that you have to be spraying every few days because the powdery mildew is always popping up somewhere, once it hits.

The effect of the milk solution is to turn the formerly white spots yellow. They are still there but they appear to be "inert."

I have aerobic compost tea and am going to start spraying my plants with that immediately next year, especially the curcurbits. I have heard from credible sources this is a good way to stop it from even afflicting your plants.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2003 at 1:49PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I do use the milk formula to water roses. It keeps the black spots off and a healther plant. I had a area of no matter what rose bush was planted in that area I woild have black spots. This was done in the soil so I assume it is a soil need.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2003 at 3:33PM
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steph_va(7 VA)

I'll have to give this a try...any chance it also works on bathroom mildew? :D

    Bookmark   October 20, 2003 at 8:42PM
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This came out of a research project conducted by Dr. Walter Bettiol in Brazil, the results of which were published in 1999. He found that a 10% whole milk-in-water solution was effective in controlling mildew on cucumbers and zucchini. This was later confirmed by additional research in Australia.

Dr. Bettiol stated that local farmers told him that a 5% solution worked equally well. He didn't say whether or not he agreed.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2003 at 3:09PM
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lisasmall(7a NoVa)

Does it have to be whole milk, or will skim or 2% do? Or do you need the fats in the whole milk to make it stick?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 10:01AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I didn't know anything about this % of milk to water. When I rinse milk jugs, I just pour the water on the leaves of my roses, Monarda and Dahlia. So far I have not had powdery mildew or blackspots on these plants this year. Knock on wood!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 10:19PM
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There was a recent article in the California Rare Fruit Growers Magazine where they recommended low fat milk. It said using the higher fat milk would eventually develop a smell.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 9:00AM
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I have not heard of using milk, but I have read many articles on using baking soda with my green solution.I tried it on my Lupines and they were so happy.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 10:20PM
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Nansgarden, what's your green solution? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 9:25AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Milk seems to work because it is a natural food containing vitamins, protein, carbohydrates and minerals. The food feeds the beneficial bacteria which protect the plant from disease.

Baking soda, on the other hand, kills all the fungi on the plant, good ones and bad ones.

Any kind of milk seems to work: chocolate, skim, whole, reconstituted, and spoiled.

The dilution rate is 3 ounces per gallon of water. If you are spraying it on the lawn, the same 3 ounces go on 1,000 square feet.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 2:29AM
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frecklesb(z5 IN)

I controlled our bathroom mildew as well as the mildew in our basement window ledge by mixing a small amount of yellow mouthwash (the strong stuff that starts with a "L" but I can't remember the name of) with water based paint. It was completely effective for me. It did not work very well on our outside shed though. I don't remember where I stole this idea from.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 12:21PM
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i have herd milk works on powdery and downy mildew as a preventative when you get your first signs of mildew,

and cammomile tea is a good treatment once you have a set in infection of mildew,
not sure on the mode of action,

was wondering how fresh milk needs to be as i will need large amounts and old milk is cheaper?

the link is wher i herd about the tea,

Here is a link that might be useful: abc milk in the vineyard

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:08PM
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