With the first harvest comes the first problem. My last blog post was about the fat, round and hardy summer squash we pulled out of our vegetable garden, the first product of our February planting. Then last night, I found powdery mildew starting to form on the leaves. Ugh. The plants are loaded with squash and zucchini yet to fully ripen, so I need to get on it…organically, of course.
I just stumbled upon this blog called, Appalachian Feet, and loved it immediately because of their tagline. It’s actually a question, “Are you a sustainahillbilly?” You know what, I think I am. We recycle, compost and favor practices like crop rotation over chemicals, so sustaina-, check. And we used to walk a dog and a chicken around our neighborhood, so -hillbilly, check.
Beyond the tagline, the blog offers good green living tips and this particular tip is backed by scientific studies: milk can help prevent powdery mildew. Prevent not necessarily cure, but I have nothing to lose and a lot of squash to salvage. Here are the instructions:
The best solution for powdery mildew is a spray of 1 part milk to 9 parts water coating the leaves every 1 – 2 weeks. Use the spray when there is full sun (morning is best) before the disease sets in and you’ll have a 90% prevention rate.