Gardening Tip - Milk

Steve @ Celtic Farm

Flower Farmer | Master Gardener | Earth Scientist
Joined
Mar 21, 2023
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Location
California
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
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I have used this effectively on our dahlia crops, which succumb to powdery mildew late in the season. Milk, a common household item for most of us, has surprising benefits in the garden, particularly as a fungicide and mild fertilizer. When diluted with water—typically in a ratio of 1 part milk to 9 parts water—it creates a solution that can combat fungal diseases, most notably powdery mildew, which commonly affects cucumbers, squash, and other plants. The mechanism behind milk's fungicidal properties isn't entirely clear, but it's believed that the proteins in milk react when exposed to sunlight, producing antiseptic compounds that hinder the growth of fungi. Additionally, milk contains nutrients like calcium and proteins, which can provide a gentle nourishment boost to plants. It's a safe, eco-friendly alternative to chemical fungicides and fertilizers. However, it's important to use this method in moderation, as over-application can lead to unpleasant odors or other unintended side effects. Spraying the milk solution onto the leaves and stems of affected plants not only helps in controlling fungal diseases but also offers a slight nutritional benefit, making it a dual-purpose, garden-friendly treatment.

Thoughts? Other anti-fungal & natural treatments?
 

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