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what's this on my kale?

Posted by joannaqcw NY 4/5 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 9, 11 at 12:15

I've been growing kale in my winter greenhouse for years; this is the first time I've had this grayish-white hairy or moldy-looking stuff growing on it. This stuff washes off, with real scrubbing, and the leaves still taste all right. I've sprayed pyrethrum (in case it was insect-related) and Actinovate (in case it was fungal) and the stuff doesn't go away. Now some is appearing on my tatsoi. The chard and lettuce aren't affected.
Any idea what this is or how I can get rid of it?

Image link: what's this on my kale? (55 k)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: what's this on my kale?

Not insects. Powdery mildew.

Increase the air circulation in your green house.

And discard, rather than spray, the affected leaves. Realize that you'll be eating any stuff you apply to the plant.

RE: what's this on my kale?

Thanks for the ID. That makes sense; due to prolonged cold gray weather I haven't been able to open the greenhouse for weeks, which is unusual.

A couple of follow-up questions, if anyone has time: Is it safe to eat leaves that have had powdery mildew, once they've been washed? And what should I do besides removing affected leaves, increasing air circulation, and watering in the root zone not where foliage will be wetted, to ensure that the mildew doesn't get passed on to the seedlings I'll be starting in March?

Thanks again.

RE: what's this on my kale?

Sure, they're safe to eat.

And what you've suggested is about all you can do to limit the problem.

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