Powdery Mildew - my organic experience
Ok, I know this disease has been talked about a lot, but I just wanted to quickly share my experience in my first year garden. I've found a lot of talked-about cures or treatments (I'm trying to be organic) so I've tried a few different ones over the past couple of weeks.
1. I've been using neem oil once or twice a week on almost everything in my garden ... I'm not sure if it was slowing the spread of PM down, but it definitely still continued to grow. This problem for me is mostly on my monsterous pumpkin vines, and in the 4x4 cucurbit sq ft garden bed.
2. When the neem wasn't doing what I wanted regarding the PM, I tried the milk treatment. I saw no relief and the PM advanced. I tried two different concentrations over a couple of days ... probaby 20 % and then 40%. I'm sure it works for some people ... it didn't work for me :(
3. So, I kept researching ... I read that cornmeal water was an effective fungicide. I decided to give it a try. No luck. My pumpkin and squash leaves just kept looking worse and worse, and the white spots kept getting bigger and in more placeson the leaves. I was definitely bummed out.
4. So TODAY ... I decided to try the baking soda in water spray. Omg. It was like magic. I can't wait to get up tomorrow morning and have a look. You know how tilex kinda kills all the ugly fungus in bathroom water areas (shower, around faucets, etc) ... (that is, if you don't scrub religiously and it actually NEEDS tilex ... let's just say I'm a big tilex fan :) )...
So, I sprayed pretty heavily ... I think my concentration was a little high (so I hope I don't find a pile of dead pumpkin leaves all over my backyard tomorrow). I used about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon per spray bottle of water. Back to my tilex analogy, I swear I could see the mildew disappearing just after I sprayed. It wasn't just because the leaves were getting wet. Some leaves that were hard hit by PM still looked yellowed with some brown spots where the white mildew had been heavily concentrated, but ... the white disappeared! That did not happen with any of my previous attempted treatments.
If this is a false alarm, and it's all back within the next couple of days, I'll post my depressing news, but right now, I'm THRILLED!
GO BAKING SODA! :)