[NAFEX] Got Milk?

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Wed Sep 16 01:43:56 EDT 2009

On Sep 15, 2009, at 9:52 PM, Mark Dorogi wrote:

> My wife read on the internet (so it must be true) that milk is  
> effective
> against powdery mildew on cucurbits. . . .
> Any opinions as to milk's effectiveness?
> Mark
> Ann Arbor MI

I've also read that milk is effective against powdery mildew.  I've  
had trouble with powdery mildew on my peonies for a couple of years,  
and on a winterberry (ornamental deciduous holly) last year.  So this  
year I figured, "what have I got to lose", and tried spraying them  
with milk.  I even did a sort of slightly controlled experiment,  
spraying some in the row of peonies and not others.  I only got around  
to doing it once, though.

The results were astonishing.  The mildew stopped, and only started  
growing again quite recently.  All the plants look better than last  
year.  The unsprayed peonies also look better than last year, but  
worse than the sprayed ones.

I wondered if it was just the weather.  (a very damp cool summer.  I'd  
have thought it ideal for a fungus, but perhaps mildew needs warmer  
weather?)  But I've been looking at other peonies in the neighborhood,  
and they seem to be as mildewed as mine were last year.

So I don't know about cucurbits.  But I plan to spray my mildew  
sensitive plants with milk again next year.  Maybe I just got lucky.   
But hey, milk is cheap and safe to use.  What have I got to lose?

eastern MA, zone 6

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