Gold bond medicated powder?

Klippenwald(5a)February 5, 2012

After looking for alternative pest control methods, a surprising method of pest and fungus control has popped up - Gold Bond Medicate Powder.

Apparently ants despise it, leaf-eating bugs think it tastes awful and due to the zinc ingredient, fungus stays away too.

Anybody have experience with this stuff? Good, bad or better alternative?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I don't know of any plant pathogen that responds to topical zinc. Other than that, it would be a very expensive method of insect repellant, don't you think?

I can see that ants and others would find it tiresome working their way through a pile of powder, but any powder would function in the same way.

What kind of pests are you talking about? We need to have that little bit of information so that we can help you.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Actually I don't have any pests (yet). I was looking around for non-pesticide ways of insect control and the powder came up in google search. A bit more looking and someone else mentioned using it on ants. There are "store brand" versions of the stuff to be had for less, and I do get mildew on my strawberries so I thought I might give it a shot. I figured I'd check here first, all kinds of folks here trying different things so I wanted to see if anyone else could vouch for it or call it hooey.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Anything used to help control insect pests will be an insecticide, a pesticide. Using a product like this could be a very expensive way to control insects and this may be a very broad sprectrum insect poison. Since no research has been done with this product as a pesticide it is not a good idea to either use it or promote it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:59AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Klippenwald, your strawberries wouldn't appreciate being coated with a powder. And as I said earlier, zinc is not a cure for plant diseases. If you are talking about powdery mildew, you can try syringing your plants with plain water, or neem oil.

As a matter of fact, plain water is an excellent 'alternative' treatment aphids and spider mites, too.

Before the garden pest season kicks in, you might want to study up on how to encourage beneficials into your yard, so that you can put them to work for you.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 4:35AM
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As the short article in the current issue of Fine Gardening says a good method of controlling Powdery Mildew is to spray a mixture of milk and water. I have used, for many years, a 50/50 mix of fat free milk and water and found that to be quite effective.
Spraying plants with a fairly strong blast of plain water can knock the spores that cause PM off, but has not had any preventive affect.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 7:42AM
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Ok, no worries. I had no plans to use it unless it was ok'd here. Not like I ran out and bought a case of it for the spring!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:49AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You might need the Gold Bond for that case of heat rash you're bound to get from working in the garden this summer! :-)

By the way, a light spraying of water is a darned good preventative against an infestation of PM, kimmsr. The infectious propagules can land on the surface but it takes time for them to germinate and develope mycelium and haustoria (which invades the plant cells). Water sprays prevent that from happening.

I have used, for many years, water sprays on a wide variety of PM susceptible plants and have found it to be very effective in preventing an outbreak of PM.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Many, many times I have seen recommendations to periodically wash your plant leaves with water sprays, and that can, often, wash disease pathogens off those plant leaves. However, if there is an active infection spraying with just water is not going to stop that disease.
One the other hand many of todays "garden gurus" tell you to never, ever spray your plants leaves because that could increase the humidity around the plant which many disease pathogens like, and need, to grow.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 7:53AM
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Klippenwald, and then there is the Disease Pyramid which illustrates that the issue is multi-dimensional.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 8:45AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kimmsr, this is a discussion about powdery mildew. This particular pathogen is unusual among fungal disorders in that it does not germinate in the presence of water. This is why spraying the foliage of PM susceptible plants can PREVENT an occurrence. It can also prevent an infestation from spreading.

The spraying of the foliage is so effective that experts have been recommending it for generations for this particular disease. One only needs to spray the foliage drenching at all. Just as misting a houseplant does not raise the humidity for any more than it takes for the droplets to does syringing foliage of a shrub.

Other cultural activities aimed toward PM prevention include thinning a plant by careful pruning in order to boost sunlight penetration and air circulation, never overcrowding susceptible plants when planting, avoiding excess fertilization as well as shearing or topping of plants, practices that promote the kind of succulent growth that PM is able to infest easily.

I've always considered PM to be almost entirely preventable, though there are some plant species that just seem determined to get it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Powdery Mildew

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 2:25PM
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