sciencegal
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:17 pm

milk treatment?

Can someone give me the 10% milk treatment technique? I think I may have started some fungus on newly potted tomato plants. They were beautiful miniature cherry types that can grow in containers. I planted them in 3 gallon nursery pots up to the top two set sets of leaves, cutting off the lower leaves. After just a couple of days the leaves started turning brownish/pink from the center out and curling at the edges.

I had been putting them out in the sun for a week before transplanting and since then bringing them in at night. They did get stressed by high winds for a day or two and I also accidently got really cold water on their leaves when I transplanted them.

So, since I have loads of fresh goat milk I thought I'd try this treatment which I had never heard of before until reading this forum. I understand the 10% part, but should I spray the leaves top and bottom? for how many days? What does the milk do for the plant? I figure it can't hurt.
Karin

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I'm still on deadline (stopped working at 11:00 last night, start working again in just a few minutes, might get to stop before 11:00 tonight, but not sure), but will say that it's the lactobacillus in the milk that does the work. Yes, spray top and bottom of the leaves.

Look around for an excellent post by Helpful Gardener which includes the word lactobacillus (the Search function can be narrowed down by both key word and author).

Best wishes for fungus-killing. Definitely. :twisted:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Last year, I simply set a day of the week, and every week on that day, I sprayed every plant in the garden with the milk.

It is a fungicide, and it also gives the plants some nitrogen and calcium.

I wasn't milking last year. So, I was just using powdered milk in my sprayer. So it was easier to regulate how much I used.

This year, I am milking twice a day, so, I just rinse all equipment and reserve the water for the plants. If I continue getting so much excess I am sure they will get more and more milk.

Once the milk clears, and I start cheese making, then they will be getting the whey. Why waste nutrients?
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I believe Cynthia meant [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22441&highlight=lactobacillus]this post[/url].

That will tell you more than I can explain. But in my opinion goats milk would be better than pasteurized milk which is, well, pasteurized.

And yes spray the whole plant until dripping, top and bottom of leaves, stem, even the soil if you like.

sciencegal
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:17 pm

Thanks for the link to the post. I thought I saw it somewhere. The plants look just like mine so I think that's the cause. Do you think it was the stress of transplanting that caused it? The young plants looked beautiful up until then. I wasn't expecting fungus here. It is so dry and cool most of the time.

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Unhealthy and stressed plants CAN be more prone to pest and disease.

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

To add some more to this post.

I do use milk as a preventative and treatment. But is it better to let it sit for bit before use to possibly get the culture growing or should you just use straight from the fridge and let it culture on the plant?

sciencegal
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:17 pm

gixxerific wrote:Unhealthy and stressed plants CAN be more prone to pest and disease.
This is why I thought it was strange that they look so bad so fast. There were very healthy, fast growing, green plants in 12 oz cups. Only a few days after potting up they went downhill. I used a new bag of MG potting mix. I'm wondering if something came from the bagged soil.

However, they are all saturated with goat milk with a little active culture yogurt thrown in. I also fertilized them which I had done since I transplanted them. I'll see how they do. One looked like it was sending out some new, healthy growth.

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Gixx, I used powdered milk last summer, and it worked just fine.

If you eat yogurt, you could rinse out the containers from it and cottage cheese for even more lactobaccillus spores for your plants.

If you leave it setting out, it could quickly get populated by bacteria that just might not be what you are wanting in your garden, I don't know.
But, you would get wild yeasts and many other spores that are floating around in the air, might be good, might not, just depends on what is in your air.

Personally, I love blue cheese, my husband hates it, but can you imagine, the first time someone made cheese and it had the blue cheese mold growing in it? This is kind of what I mean. Some spores will be good, for food, and some would likely be better for the garden than eating, but how do you know which you will get? Experiment! Play mad scientist and keep logs!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Don't eat much yogurt which I know would be good for me and the plant spraying.

We do eat a LOT of cottage cheese, didn't even think about that. Dohhh!!

Thanks for the idea. :D

User avatar
engineeredgarden
Green Thumb
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 3:51 pm
Location: NW Alabama

Ozark lady,

Are you saying to add the remnants from an eaten cup of yogurt to the spray solution? Please understand - i've never used milk/water soultion for powdery mildew before...

EG

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I am saying, when you are done eating ice cream, drinking a glass of milk, or having cottage cheese etc. Rinse out the container, your trash will smell better, and use the liquid on your plants.

It is free fungicide and it will give calcium and a bit of nitrogen to your plants.

Many things that are good for us are also good for our plants.
Yogurt is a different culture than is cottage cheese or buttermilk, but they both cause the lactobacillus to grow! And that is good, for us and plants.

You don't have to culture these, you don't have to save it to stink. Just rinse things out, and routinely add it to your plant watering.

Milk is best known for preventing damping off in seedlings and tobacco mosaic viruses! Use what would be wasted! You can spray it or water it on, just add enough water to make it murky water.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

User avatar
engineeredgarden
Green Thumb
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 3:51 pm
Location: NW Alabama

Gee, thanks for that information! This forum is SO much more friendly than the ones I'm accustomed to visiting....

EG

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

My version is dilute milk 50:50 with water. Add a tablespoon of yoghurt with active cultures and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours to culture the lactobaccillus. The lactobacillus is a fungicide that destroys the blight/ wilt fungi. Strain and spray on the affected plants, being sure to get the underside of leaves, leaf axils, etc.

If you have nearby unaffected plants, particularly of the same variety (eg other tomatoes if it is a tomato plant affected), I would dilute the solution down more (that 10% you mentioned) and spray it on them preventatively.

You shouldn't have to do it every week. I was (I'm pretty sure) starting to get late blight on my tomatoes last year, maybe August or late July? I trimmed off all the visibly affected leaves, sprayed everything left with the milk solution, one time. It was a miracle cure and I never had to do it again the rest of the season.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

OK...2 questions:

1. Do you have to use one of those pressurized plant sprayers, or can you just go with a typical spray bottle (like they use at barber shops).

2. Will the milk treatment cure/prevent septoria on tomatoes?

Thanks for the answers and for introducing me to the great concept.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

No pressure, just a regular spray bottle.

Septoria is a fungal condition, so yes the milk treatment would be a good thing to try for it.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

TFA303
Full Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: Zone 7

This is great. With little kids, there are often half-finished cups of milk at our table. Thanks for giving me a productive use for them!

(I'm guessing that a few PB&J crumbs won't hurt my plants....)

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28180
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Nope, just strain them out with a tea strainer so they won't clog the sprayer. :wink:

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”