With the arrival of the rainy season, many farmers and gardeners begin to check the leaves of their plants, hoping not to find the dreaded yellow spots. Mildew is a fungus that can reproduce throughout the crop, becoming very harmful if prevention and remedy measures are not practiced in time.
if you want to learn how to combat mildew and prevent itjoin us in this EcologíaVerde article.
what is mildew
Mildew is a fungus that affects plants. It is a fungal or mycotic disease that crops suffer when the right conditions are met, which in this case are very high degrees of humidity and temperatures between 10 ºC and 20 ºC. It can survive entire seasons above or below these temperatures, waiting for the moment of its favorite climate to start multiplying.
It can be easily recognized by the spots it causes on the leaves, which are yellow on the surface and white on the underside. These white and yellow spots on leaves they spread, causing necrosis in small parts and later the entire leaf becomes deformed and dries up completely, while the fungus spreads throughout the plant.
It can reproduce in all kinds of spaces with plants and affects a wide variety of species, although the crops and plants most frequently affected by mildew are the following:
How to combat mildew – natural remedies
The most effective thing against mildew is prevention, but there are some measures that can be taken in the difficult fight against this fungus, especially if it is detected early. The first and most obvious is remove leaves or crops affected by the mildew fungus. If the spots are still yellow or whitish and not widespread, simply remove the affected leaves and dispose of them safely. If the leaves show brown spots, it means that the plant has been completely affected, so you will probably have to remove it entirely to prevent the fungus from spreading to other plants around it.
You can also use homemade fungicides. Some of them are very effective and, in addition to being completely ecological, they are very cheap. These are the best homemade fungicides to combat mildew:
homemade fungicide with milk
One of the most effective fungicides is undoubtedly the fungicide made with milk. To prepare and use it, follow these steps:
- Mix 8 parts water with 2 parts skim milk.
- Add 20 grams of baking soda per liter of mixture.
- Once you have everything in the final container, move it very well and spray the leaves and plants for 2 days in a row, always late in the afternoon. If there is a storm, it is important to apply it the next day as well.
- After this initial application, repeat the process every 15 days, paying special attention to the affected plants and always removing the diseased areas.
Nettle slurry for mildew
Another very effective natural remedy is nettle slurry and this is how to prepare and apply it:
- It is made with 100 grams of nettle stems and leaves for every liter of water. It is better to collect stems and shoots that are not too woody, that are not in bloom, in addition to picking them without roots. It is preferable to use rainwater. If you only have tap water, leave the water in a container in the sun for about two days, so that the chlorine in the drinking tap water evaporates.
- Once the mixture of water and nettle is prepared, it is important to cover the container loosely, and uncover it daily to stir it. Don’t worry if it smells bad, it’s very normal.
- About 15 days later, most of the leaves should have been consumed by the bacteria and there should be nothing left but the stems.
- In 20 days, the slurry will be ready to be strained and filtered. It is very important not to let the mixture come into contact with metal parts at any time during the entire process.
- Mix 1 part of slurry with another 10 parts of water before you start spraying this homemade fungicide on the affected plants. You can follow the same time pattern as in the previous remedy.
If you want to know more natural and homemade products that are used to eliminate mildew from plants, we recommend this gardening guide on homemade fungicides.
How to prevent mildew
To prevent the appearance of this fungus in your crops or plants, you can follow these tips to prevent mildew on plants:
- Control excess moisture in your crop, in addition to ensuring good drainage in the soil.
- Regular pruning will also help keep the crop free of organic matter in poor condition and, therefore, prevent the appearance of the fungus.
- You can also use the two natural fungicides shown above preventively.
- In addition, you can use other effective remedies against mildew, such as horsetail or garlic infusion. Copper sulphate is also a very good mildew preventive, which is why many farmers use it, for example on tomato plants, by pricking the stem of the plant with a copper wire and wrapping it around the plant.
- Do not abuse nitrogenous fertilizers, as they favor the appearance of these fungi.
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