Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t – borrowed from Chief Daniel George in the movie Little Big Man. This could not be more a more accurate description of my experience controlling powdery mildew this year. As readers of my original post on Magic Milk know, I used a spray of 9 parts water to 1 part milk on plants with powdery mildew. It halted the powdery mildew advance on my lilacs, phlox, cucumbers, and zucchini, but spraying must continue regularly or powdery mildew takes over.
This is exactly what happened to my zucchini. I was away for a few days and missed my chance to spray immediately before I left … I came home to a totally infected plant. Not a pretty sight. Rather than trying to save this plant, I’ll harvest any remaining fruit then remove the infected plant from the vegetable garden later today.
Still, magic milk spray seems to have controlled – not cured mind you – but controlled the spread of powdery mildew on my lilac. You can see it beginning again on the leaf at the center, but this plant has not been sprayed for two weeks, and this is how it looked leading up to the last time I sprayed.
The same spraying routine has controlled powdery mildew on my phlox. You can see the white indicators of infection on some of the leaves, but otherwise the phlox are still blooming and the leaves look pretty good for this late in the season.
And my cukes are producing and producing and producing; with no sign of powdery mildew after two doses of magic milk, two weeks apart.
So it appears that vigilance pays off. I’ll spray again today. Next year I’ll try to remember to use magic milk spray as a preventative, or at least try to catch any powdery mildew outbreak earlier. The minimal time and expense it takes to do so is well worth the benefit of keeping susceptible plants looking good and producing fruit late into the growing season.