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Monday, September 10, 2012

There’s Gonna’ Be Some Bare Spots!!! :(

I was outside perusing my gardens the other day , and to my utter dismay noticed that I have an issue growing!

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Powdery Mildew has made it’s ugly appearance in my flower beds! Now…I at first was convinced that the white residue on the leaves of my plants was nothing more than a run off of dust or paint from the siding of my house. The house is white….and we have had some work done on it recently and I thought maybe, just maybe it was the residue of the white building product that the contractors had used, that was settling on my leaves. Sadly…I was mistaken.

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I took some time to spray down the entire side of the house to rid it of any remaining “dust” and sprayed the leaves of the plants…removed many of the affected leaves and waited. I now know it was not a construction dust issue…but instead a mildew issue!

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As the name implies, powdery mildew appears as powdery splotches of white or gray, on the leaves and stems of plants. It is most noticeable on the tops of the leaves, but powdery mildew can also affect the lower leaf surface, stems, flowers and buds.

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Although this affliction is unattractive, it is rarely fatal to your plants… However it does stress the plant and unless measures to treat it are taken, it will weaken the plant.

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Powdery mildew fungi are host specific, which is a good thing. This means that the powdery mildew growing on my Dahlias will not spread to my Hydrangeas…etc. However all powdery mildews enjoy the same conditions, and no plant is safe!

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Powdery mildew fungi seem to be everywhere. The spores winter and start to grow from plant debris and then are carried by the wind, insects and splashing waters. The powdery mildew will thrive in Damp areas, crowded plantings and areas with poor air circulation.

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If you notice this problem on your plants, you will need to take a few simple measures to attempt to control the problem.

  • Remove and destroy all infected plant parts
  • Improve air circulation by thinning and pruning
  • Don’t fertilized until the problem is corrected.
  • Don’t water plants from above
  • Apply a fungicide. You can pick up a fungicide at most garden centres… or…you can make your own remedy from home using Baking Soda.
  • Baking soda is an inexpensive and easy way to control powdery milder on plants. This remedy is most effective as a preventative measure, as it offers minimal benefits after your plants are infected…but in my case, I think it is worth a try. Weekly spraying of vulnerable plants can greatly reduce the appearance of this nuisance in your garden.

    This is the baking soda recipe that I found online: simply mix together:

    • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon of liquid soap
    • 1 gallon of water

    Mix only the amount of this remedy that you will want to use as it is not recommended to be stored. It is also possible that this mixture will burn the leaves of your plants, so it may be best to test on a small area first.

    I am off to try to test this…and to remove a large part of my beautiful Dahlias from my gardens…in order to protect the rest from infection. There I going to be some bare spots!!! All I can say is that at least it is just about the end of my growing season, and we are expecting frost any time now, so I am not heartbroken and stuck with huge empty spots in my garden for the entire year.

    I hope to see you again soon for the weekly Fertilizer Friday Flaunt!

    *)*)*) You may not always end up where you thought you were going but you will always end up where you were meant to be

    (¯`v´¯)
    `*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.
    www.tootsietime.com

    Until Next Time…Happy Gardening.

    4 comments:

    Shirley said...

    Powdery mildew can be difficult to get rid of. I hope you will let us know how the baking soda mixture works. At the greenhouse we used garden sulphur and dusted the plants with it. Apply to dry leaves and reapply after rain. Don't use on very hot days to reduce the chance of scorching. Garden sulphur is considered a safe remedy for your plants. Good luck!

    Karen said...

    Hi Glenda, so good to be back! I'm sorry about the powdery mildew. We had the same problem here this year, too. I've never tried the baking soda recipe, always good to have something up our sleeves when we're confronted by pesky issues. All too soon the glory of this season will be but a distant memory, but your new garden was stunning as always!

    Kalantikan said...

    Yes Tootsie, powdery mildew afflicts many plants and bad. I love dahlias but i don't plant them because of that, and zinnias too. They are prevalent here during the dry season. Downy mildew is even more destructive which occurs during the wet season here, and they are mostly under the leaves so more difficult to control.

    Autumn Belle said...

    Powdery mildew is my enemy! so sorry about this. Love the magnificient tree you showed to day. I'd like to hug it. Happy FF!