Every year, my plum trees and peach trees get Powdery Mildew which ruins the
fruit. I read that Liquid Sulphur is good to get rid of powdery mildew. Has
anyone ever tried it...and if so, did it work?
A dilute milk spray works better than sulphur, baking soda, chemical
fungicide, or any other method of powdery mildew control. The field
studies show dilute milk not just slightly better but far & away the best
treatment. For a while it was thought diluted WHOLE milk was necessary as
the original field trials in Brazil used whole milk. But later trials in
New Zealand found that dilute SKIM milk works just as well. Here's a
typical article on the topic:
Powdery mildew does not like wet conditions & is at its worst when leaves
are dry or plants underwatered. Powdery mildew is somewhat disrupted by
just about ANYthing, including sprays of plain water, or sneezing on it --
so all kinds of lousy treatments have some positive effect, just not
nearly positive enough. The fact that anything SORT OF works permits a lot
of not-quite-entirely-worthless treatment methods to be recommended. Yet
real control can REALLY be had from sprays of milk in a 1:9 ratio (10%),
beginning before powdery mildew appears if you don't want to see any at
Vendors of gardening products have been chary of spreading the information
that no control for powdery mildew works better than dilute milk, because
if they don't sell the real fix, they'd rather you believe you need the
stuff they do sell, up to & including about $600 or $800 worth of
worthless equipment to make soil tea to spray on plants. Just remember
milk is hands-down the best treatment -- whether on an orchard, a
vineyard, a field of squash, a field of wheat, beebalms, shrubs...
The second-best (a distant second) treatment is with horticultural oil,
which however can gum up the leaves. Neem or other horticultural oil can
be used, however, as a soil-drench to bind the powdery mildew spoors to
the ground before they can get up on the trees or other plants.
Dilute milk does not work for other types of fungus however.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Wow, thanks for the great tip. I just planted my first wine grapes a month
ago and I'll try out the milk spray on them this year. Your extensive plant
knowledge is very impressive and I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks
it doesnt work any better than baking soda spray. the idea is to raise the pH.
sulfur is tricky. I use a single oil on my grapes and use a curtain system that
the leaves dry out (zone 5, dryer area). on fruit, use something suggested for
fruit. unlike pesticides, fungicides doesnt kill predator insects. Ingrid
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Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame
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I've only recently joined. This post on Powdery Mildew is wonderful.
I'd like to add to it a bit.
This past summer, bemoaning the idea that I might lose a Meteor cherry
to leaf spot, I used a Jerry Baker idea which combined powdered milk
with sulphered molasses. Cheap, and it worked really well.. I confess
I never thought to use it on the powdery mildew.
More food for thought! Thanks, folks.
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