Welcome to my website where I gather information about plant pests and pathogens preying on gardens in my local area in Melbourne. I want to live in harmoney with nature and so I use exclusion techniques and natural predators to protect my edible and ornamental plants instead of using poisonous chemicals...................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
mildew is a fungal disease affecting a wide range of plants. It's caused
by various fungi in the order Erysiphales. Risk of infestation are greatest when the
weather starts to warm in spring and humidity is high.
It has been a
regular visitor to my garden over the years infecting strawberries, peas,
cucumbers, beans and pumpkin. Affected
plants are easily identified since they develop white powdery spots on their
leaves and stems. These spots grow rapidly until the plant's foliage
shrivels and eventually dies.
Why Powdery Mildew is a Pest.
allowed to grow unchecked, powdery mildew will cover a crop, reduce its
capacity to photosynthesise, seriously reduce yields and eventually kill the
plants. It will spread from plant to
plant very quickly given favourable conditions.
Aerated compost tea
as a monthly foliar spray toughens plant foliage and provides protection
against powdery mildew infestation. However, new growth emerging
scheduled sprays is vulnerable, and spraying foliage already infested
compost tea will not kill the fungi.
measures are needed, and at the first sign of an infestation of powdery mildew,
I use an organic fungicide to stop it spreading. I have found this to be
very effective, but it will not protect the plant for long and successive
spraying every few days or when the mildew reappears may be necessary. A 10% solution of cow’s milk in water can be
used as a homemade alternative.