How to Combat White Powdery Mildew - My Garden Journal

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Can you imagine? I woke up one morning to go check on my plants and found this white fungus looking stuff all over them.

It wasn’t until three days later that I figured out what it was (from watching videos) and by that time it had spread more and gotten worse.

Our cabbage and broccoli were the main plants affected whereas our lettuce and tomato plants weren’t really harmed at all. There were only a few lettuce leaves that had to be removed.

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The Cause

During the Summer months where humidity is at its finest mildew can easily form on our plants.

I was not aware of this and watered my plants every evening. That water would sit on the plants all night with no real chance of fully drying due to all of the humidity in the air. Mildew likes that type of environment and accumulates on the plants spreading from leaf to leaf as time goes by.

At first glance I thought there were tiny white pests all gathered up on the plants. Tbh I’d rather battle mildew than have a plant pest problem. Either way I knew I had to act soon if I were to save our vegetables.

The Solution

The first thing I did was change my watering schedule. I stopped watering the plants in the late evening and began watering them early in the mornings. This way there will be less moisture on them at night from drying throughout the day.

Once this mildew hits your plants it will keep spreading like a wild fire. The best thing to do is remove the affected leaves and let them regrow fresh and anew.

I went through each plant and snipped off the affected leaves with scissors.

I then sprayed a fungicide/insecticide solution on each leaf top and bottom.

I’ll give you the ingredients and measurements I used but please be cautious to always test a small area before spraying your plants entirely. This is a very potent solution and I even diluted it further (adding more water) just to be safe:

  • approx. 1 quart water
  • 1/2 tsp. Neem oil (100% pure/organic)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
  • a few drops of Castile soap

The castile soap helps to sink the neem oil in order to mix better with the water. Once this was all added into the spray bottle I gave it a good shake.

It made me sad at how much I had to clip away but I knew it had to be done in order for the plants to be healthy again.

Here they are all nice and shiny after being clipped and sprayed...

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See how small they were afterwards?

It’s okay because this happened two weeks ago and I’m happy to show you how well they have grown back since then :D

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and the

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All of the vegetables are thriving. I love the way the cabbage looks. It’s shaping into a pretty flower form. I really love admiring how well they are growing now.

Maintenance

I reapply the solution to the plants once a week. I don’t spray as heavily as I did the first two weeks but just enough to coat the leaves and discourage any more mildew from developing. It has been working quite well.

As mentioned before I did have to dilute the solution more with water due to a few of the leaves tarnishing (mild foliage burn on our lettuce leaves) from the spray. That neem oil is super potent so you have to be careful how much you use. That’s why it’s important to always test your solution as each plant reacts differently to a change in pH.

Note: - I urge you to please do your own further personal research on the effects of neem oil before using. Some believe it to be harmful to humans if consumed. When using neem oil always wash/rinse your plants before eating.

I’ll leave you with a shot of our head lettuce. It’s growing abundantly and we can’t use it fast enough. We’ll be giving some to our neighbors.

We’ve been enjoying it on sandwiches and I’m looking forward to making me a salad soon :)

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