Make Powdery Mildew a Thing of the Past For Your Home Vegetable Garden
Powdery mildew is caused in most part over exposure of water. When plants, mostly in the broadleaf category such as squash and to a smaller extent plants in the pea family, receive too much water, a grayish/white powder will form on the leaves. If not tackled early in the forming stages, this condition can lead to serious crop damage of lower yields.
You are in luck though. Powdery mildew is preventable and better yet, treatable. Certain kinds of plants will actually invite or increase the chances of your vegetables in getting powdery mildew. Such include members of the phlox or bee balm families. If you have these plants near your vegetable garden it is best to move them elsewhere or remove them altogether.
Ask yourself this question. Does your garden have adequate drainage? If not then this could lead to improper movement of water underneath the soil and that could lead to powdery mildew and other diseases such as root rot. The best way to create better drainage is to constantly add compost to your soil. Compost has shown in many studies to increase soil volume and drainage as well as providing the many nutrients your plants need to grow.
You may be following both pieces of advice that I just mentioned, but even the best laid plans can not make up for what Mother Nature will dish out to you. If you lived in the Northeast of the United States in 2009 then you experienced first hand what could happen to your garden when you receive too much rain. If this occurs you will more than likely get exposed to powdery mildew. It is treatable and your best remedy for it is a natural and safe spray such as neem oil or a mixture of one and a half tablespoons of baking soda, one teaspoon of vegetable oil and one and a half gallons of warm water. Spray either of this on the affected areas and you should be good to go.
If you are experiencing a wetter then normal growing season then I recommend you use a chamomile spray or compost tea mixture and spray directly on the plants to help in preventing and/or slowing future outbreaks of powdery mildew. Both of these methods are great ways to make your life easier in your home vegetable garden.
Combine these mentioned preventative and treatment methods and you will be well on your way to a powdery mildew free home vegetable garden.
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