Well, it could be powdery mildew!Powdery mildew is one of the most common garden diseases around.Read along to learn how to organically control powdery mildew in your garden, with tips for prevention, ways to reduce its spread, or treat it when necessary.What is Powdery Mildew?True to its name, powdery mildew (often shortened to “PM”) looks like white powdery mold spots on plant leaves.Yet the good news is: it is possible to prevent, control, or get rid of powdery mildew organically!Ideal conditions for PM and how it spreads.Providing good airflow between plants and avoiding wetting plant leaves helps to reduce the spread of PM.You’ll first notice the tell-tale spots on the tops of plant leaves.Depending on the variety, some zucchini, squash, and melon plants have natural white spots or variegation on their leaves.Powdery mildew spots on cucumber leaves.A very severe case of powdery mildew on zucchini or squash.Since mildew is quite common in our garden, we’ve definitely eaten our fair share of crops with a few spots of mildew!What plants get powdery mildew?Unfortunately, many plants are prone to powdery mildew – including a plethora of common vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants you may grow in your garden.Plants resistant to powdery mildew.Powdery mildew can inflict over 1000 different plant species, though many types do not develop it as readily or severely as the susceptible plants listed above.Another perfectly healthy squash plant with natural leaf patterns that look similar to PM.It’s a never-ending battle in our garden; there is always a low-grade PM infection somewhere.Choose plant species and varieties that are naturally resistant to powdery mildew, especially if PM is a known issue in your garden.For instance, we’ve found that Dunja zucchini rarely gets mildew, while many other types of zucchini that we grow will.Don’t compost diseased plants.It’s always a good idea to routinely sanitize your garden tools (e.g. pruning shears), especially when you’re working around diseased plants.Instead, water the soil below the plant.As described more below, neem oil is one common treatment option for powdery mildew.An example of wise companion planting: Swiss chard (usually resistant to powdery mildew, at least in our garden!).Planting other susceptible crops like bush beans, kale, collard greens, or eggplant in the place of the Swiss chard would have been asking for trouble.If caught early enough (and as long as the plant can survive without the infected part) the simple act of pruning off a few infected leaves can often halt or drastically slow the spread of powdery mildew to the rest of the plant.Spray the plant with baking soda.Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) changes the pH on the plant leaves, making conditions more alkaline and less hospitable for the fungus to thrive.Neem oil spray – In my experience, neem oil slows down the spread of powdery mildew, but doesn’t usually completely eradicate it.Like the bicarbonate treatment options, neem oil must also be diluted before application.If all else fails, it is best to completely remove significantly infected plants from your garden to stop the spread of disease.After removing severely infected plants from your garden, it’s wise to replace (trash) the mulch in that immediate area.You could also spray down the soil surface with baking soda, potassium bicarbonate, or neem.All in all, don’t worry if your plants get a few spots of mildew.I hope this article gave you plenty of ideas of how to do just that.
How to Identify and Treat Swiss Chard Diseases
When disease strikes, not only can it deprive you of your dinner, but it can turn those beautiful plants into a mushy mess – and nobody wants that.Fortunately, Swiss chard is pretty resistant to disease, especially if you know the right steps to take to help prevent problematic pathogens from visiting in the first place.Soft rot is caused by numerous types of bacteria, including Pectobacterium carotovorum, Dickeya dadantii, and some species in the Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Erwinia, and Clostridium genera.The pathogens that cause this disease need an opening to work their way into the plant, and that means any time an insect nibbles on the stem or you accidentally cut it or rip a leaf, it’s vulnerable to soft rot thereafter.You should also take care to ensure that your plants have enough calcium, and clean up any debris in the garden in the fall.Beet curly top virus (BCTV) impacts tomatoes, beans, cucumber, mustard, and even weeds like Russian thistle.When it infects Swiss chard, it shows up as stunted growth or curling leaves.The good news is that if you are able to keep beet leafhoppers away from your plants, you won’t really have to worry much about this problem since these insects are the main vectors responsible for the spread of the virus.A good row cover totally denies leafhoppers the ability to land on your chard in the first place.It’s also smart to fill your garden with lots of beneficial bugs that like to make a meal of leafhoppers.If you don’t have as many of these helpful creatures paying a visit to your garden as you’d like, you can throw some money at the problem.Cercospora leaf spot isn’t fun to have on any plant, but it especially sucks when your Swiss chard contracts it.The fungus lives in the soil, and numerous different weeds and other veggies may serve as hosts.Once again, this sounds like a disease that plagues a whole different type of plant, but cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is actually very common around the veggie patch.It can infect nightshades, cucurbits, and, yes – beets, Swiss chard, and other veggies in the Amaranthaceae family.An infected Swiss chard plant may be stunted and will usually have a mottled pattern on the leaves, with patches of yellow or light green.Our guide to Swiss chard pests has all the details you need to address an aphid situation.Then, take extra care to be sure you aren’t overwatering, and don’t fertilize seeds or young seedlings.If this oomycete comes to visit, you’ll first notice light green spots on the top of the leaves.The fungus Phoma betae, which causes the disease, can travel in water, on tools, or in the soil.You should rotate your crops every three years, whether you note signs of this disease or not, and only purchase certified disease-free seeds as preventive measures.When you see small patches of white fuzz beginning to develop, it’s time to take action.A product that contains Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747 can be an effective treatment, especially if you start early.Monterey makes a product called Complete Disease Control that uses this beneficial bacteria.Monterey Complete Disease Control Drench the leaves really well once a week for as long as the fungal growth is present.I don’t know for sure if I just got lucky or if it made all the difference, but I didn’t have any powdery mildew in my garden this year.In really wet conditions, the foliage will be impacted, and you’ll have limp, yellowing leaves with water-soaked lesions.In less severe cases, the roots will start to rot away, causing the foliage to appear wilted, even when there is water present in the soil.Catching it early is key – if the infection reaches the point where the roots have rotted away, you’re out of luck. .
Powdery Mildew on Swiss Chard #707890
Keep your plants thinned out enough to encourage good air circulation and cut back on the watering.One piece of good news is that powdery mildew is host specific.If all else fails an organic spray of pyrethrin or copper fungicide should take care of the problem. .
Preventing and Controlling Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that results in a powdery gray or white coating on the leaves and stems of infected plants. A powdery mildew infection generally starts out as a few spores on the leaves but quickly spreads, forming a thick coating of fungi.Plants Affected by Powdery Mildew.In any region with humid summers, powdery mildew almost always makes an appearance.But besides being unattractive, powdery mildew can, in extreme cases, result in leaf yellowing and dropping; stunted plant growth; distortion of buds, blooms, and fruit; and eventual weakening of the plant.Chemical fungicides are generally ineffective against powdery mildew; the best strategies are more physical in nature, such as removing and destroying diseased plants and plant parts.Planting disease-resistant cultivars and making sure you allow for good airflow are two ways to guard against powdery mildew.Better ventilation reduces disease.infected plant parts.Spraying plants weekly at the first signs of fungus on leaves can protect plants against further damage.Interestingly, an effective means of preventing and treating powdery mildew is to spray the foliage of your plants daily with water from the hose. .
How Do I Grow Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that’s renowned for its nutritional value, and it’s popular with gardeners because it is so easy to grow.You can also download my How Do I Grow Swiss Chard one-sheet and keep the free resource handy for your reference.Also known as silverbeet, spinach beet, leaf beet or simply, chard, Swiss chard is a wonderful addition to soup, dip and baked dishes, and it can be sauteed in oil with garlic for a side or a warm salad.For earlier harvests, Swiss chard may be started indoors three to four weeks before the last frost date.The air movement will prevent damping off disease, a fungus that is fatal to newly sprouted seedlings.Hardening off is the process of gradually introducing plants to the outdoor environment and the intensity of the sun.Swiss chard performs best in full sun but will also tolerate a little shade.The soil should be well drained and amended with plenty of organic matter, namely compost.Space the seeds or seedlings out so that the plants will not touch one another once they have reached full size.Having grown this variety for years, I’m always amazed at how carefree and beautiful it is in the garden and on the plate.It’s like a painting with all the range of stem colors from red, orange, pink, yellow and white, all in one crop.The leaves are ready to harvest in 23 to 35 days from transplanting, and the plants have a good degree of disease resistance.Perpetual is an open-pollinated chard that has tasty, smooth leaves that taste like spinach and are ready to harvest in 50 days.Rhubard is a chard variety that is so named because it has thick red stalks like rhubarb.Like most vegetables, Swiss chard requires an inch of water per week.A drip irrigation system works well to ensure Swiss chard gets the moisture it needs for consistent growth.Just make sure that if using a fish fertilzer on chard that the first number in the NPK ratio is the highest.Swiss chard is largely unbothered by pests and rarely affected by disease.While feeding on plant leaves they excrete honeydew, which attracts ants and other insects.They are easily controlled by knocking them off plants with a sharp stream of water or insecticidal soap.Another strategy is to plant a trap crop of radishes, which flea beetles prefer over most anything else.For a severe infestation, a bait like Sluggo, which contains iron phosphate, is a safe, organic option.Avoid overhead watering that creates a welcoming environment for fungal spores.Read my comprehensive guide Powdery Mildew Prevention & Control for more information.The younger leaves are great in a salad or eaten like beet greens or spinach.Cut the young plants an inch above the ground with sharp scissors or garden shears and they’ll continue to grow over and over.Swiss chard is best enjoyed the same day it was cut, but it can be stored, unwashed, in an unsealed plastic bag for up to a week.Sign up to receive gardening resources, eBooks and email updates on the joegardener podcast and more.None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here.The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship.At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, Wild Alaskan Seafood Box and TerraThrive. .
Chard: Mixed Colors Swiss Chard Downy Mildew
Downy Mildew.Remember that Downy Mildew appears down on the underside of the leaf, while powdery mildew is on top of the leaf too. .
Powdery Mildew Remedies for Plants
Here's how to control this plant disease with natural remedies, including a homemade baking soda spray treatment.Causes of Powdery Mildew.Remedies for Powdery Mildew.One season I tried to defeat powdery mildew by planting squash in our high tunnel, thinking that if I could keep the leaves dry they would not be affected.Homemade Baking Soda Spray.Many of these remedies include baking soda.To keep the fungi from developing a resistance to your homemade spray, it is recommended that you alternate remedies each week.Use baking soda one week and milk the next.Whether spraying with water or a home remedy, do it early in the day so the leaves can have a chance to dry before evening. .
Powdery Mildew On Edibles: Identification And Control
Fortunately, many are host-specific, meaning they infect only one or a limited number of crops.The time from first infection until obvious symptoms are present ranges from three to seven days.Thorough sanitation and removal of weeds between crop productions can reduce future infections.Scouting should include inspection of leaf surfaces, as well as stems and buds.Record fertilization applications and review regularly to avoid excessively high or low nitrogen levels in plant tissue.Cultural practices that reduce powdery mildew infection and spread include good air circulation, timely and proper plant spacing, and managing relative humidity. .