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TheWaterbug
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Powdered Milk for Powdery Mildew?

Powdery mildew is the bane of my cucurbits. I get it every year on nearly all of my plants, and by the end of September most of the patch is dead or dying. I get pumpkins, but I'm thinking I could get more and bigger and more bigger :D pumpkins if I could control it.

So this year I bought a 4 gallon backpack sprayer and a bottle of Serenade organic fungicide for $13.22. The suggested dilution ratio for fruits and vegetables is 1/2 C per gallon of water, so about 2 cups to fill the sprayer. I ran the sprayer dry twice covering the entire pumpkin patch, so I used half a bottle of Serenade, or about $6.61 worth.

I've read that a dilute solution of milk is effective as a preventative, but not as a cure, so I figure I'd alternate Serenade with milk. Suggested water:milk ratios are all over the place as 2:1, 3:1, 9:1, etc., so I figured I'd try 7:1, or half a gallon of milk to 3.5 gallons of water to fill my sprayer. I did this twice, which cost me one gallon of milk, which is about $3.70 here in Los Angeles.

Given that milk is only effective if I don't already have an infection, and that I'm using a dose at the lower end of effectivity, it doesn't seem like I'm saving that much money with milk vs. Serenade.

Has anyone used powdered, dry milk for this? It's probably quite a bit cheaper than whole milk, though I haven't bought any powdered milk in decades.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

pepperhead212
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Re: Powdered Milk for Powdery Mildew?

Actually, powdered milk costs more than liquid, when you look at how much it makes, at least around here. I still buy it, for baking purposes, since I rarely have regular milk around, but I do know that it costs more/gal.

My favorite antifungal prophylactic spray for many plants, including cucurbits, is potassium bicarbonate, @1 tb/gal of water, plus a spreader/sticker. 2 tb/gal can be used if there is already a sign of mildew, or other fungus, or a combination of 1/4 c oil + 1 tb KHCO3 to a gal of water, though this can not be used at temps over 90º, which would probably be a problem in your area.
Dave

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TheWaterbug
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Re: Powdered Milk for Powdery Mildew?

Thanks!

Does KHCO3 work better than baking soda?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

pepperhead212
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Re: Powdered Milk for Powdery Mildew?

TheWaterbug wrote:Thanks!

Does KHCO3 work better than baking soda?
I've read that it works better, but the main thing is that is does not add sodium to the soil, which is not good, while potassium is one of the essential nutrients for plants. And it might cost about 3 times what baking soda costs, but still not that much. You can get food grade KHCO3 cheap in 1 lb (or larger) bags. Last time I got it on Amazon for 6 something a lb.
Dave

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