How To Properly (And Organically) Attack Powdery Mildew

powderymildew2Now that it was warming up and the bugs were starting to drift off, I thought my garden would be drama free for the rest of the summer. Unfortunately, I was in for a surprise: powdery mildew! I have a few squash plants growing in my garden: zucchini, pumpkin and butternut squash but a few weeks ago I started to notice white powdery spots on the leaves of my zucchini which quickly started to multiply and spread to my pumpkin and butternut plants. Oh no! Luckily, it wasn’t as serious as I thought it was and I found an incredibly simple solution.

A close up of the powdery mildew on my zucchini leaves.

A close up of the powdery mildew on my zucchini leaves.


I got a recipe for an organic mildew killer off of, uh, a cannabis growing website (I found it by googling, I swear!). After a few sessions of trial an error, I tweaked the mixture slightly to work for my plants. The recipe is as follows: For every cup of water add less than 1/8th of a teaspoon of baking soda and one to two drops of dish liquid (for adhesive purposes). Test the mixture out on one of your leaves before you spray your entire plant. The mixture doesn’t remove the mildew it just stops it from spreading, so if there is a little bit of burn on your leaves don’t fret too much. Eventually, the mildew leaves will die off but hopefully you can keep any new leaves healthy. Spray the tops and bottoms of each leaf and spray about every day during the morning or evening when it isn’t too hot or too cool. I would recommend giving your plants a boost of organic liquid feed or compost tea once a week to make sure that they are still growing healthy new leaves.

Powdery mildew effects almost everyone. It occurs when it is hot and sunny outside which means it will most likely effect your plants. But don’t worry, it won’t effect the fruit! It is mostly just a nuisance.

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2 responses to “How To Properly (And Organically) Attack Powdery Mildew

  1. I have had a powdery mildew problem on my crepe myrtle tree. This year I attacked it with dish liquid in water and it did help. Next year I’ll try adding the baking soda.

  2. maggie! i noticed my mom had the same problem on her squash plants. i will be sure to forward this to her (even though i’m pretty sure she is content with just leaving the mildew, you know let nature take it’s course)

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