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sorry I took so long to answer, I had forgotten to 'watch' this thread.
My monardas have never been really attacked by mildew as I started even before the first mildew showed up with the spraying. All of my friends though who also had monardas saw about 10 plants between them as the mildew just choked their plants, until I showed them mine, then the milk solution was tried out, and since then they are all wee happy monarda growers :-)
not only simple, cheap too... that's important to me being Scottish of course.
HAH!...gerddi, bushels are alive and well here! I just dug a bushel of taters last wk, have at least of bushel of maters waiting to be picked (and in my mind I LACK bushels of energy to get out in the heat and pick 'em!)
A a child I had to learn all about bushels, pecks, chains, hundredweights and other old measurement systems and as an adult I then had l to scrap all that and learn the metric system. Perhaps you still use bushels because you don't generally use the metric system.
I still can't imagine the metric system though - if I have to estimate a length it still comes out in feet and inches and a lb has much more of a weighty feel to it than 500 g!
I don't know if anyone else subscribes to the American Horticultural Society besides myself. Anyway, in their current issue there is an article on preventing mildew by spraying milk on your plants that are prone to this disease. You are CORRECT Wintermoor, it does work! You can use either whole or skim milk, both are effective. The ratio is 1 part milk to 9 parts water. Put this mixture into a clean spray bottle and coat your plants with this mixture, until they are dripping wet. It really does work!!!
P.S. I'll be happy to scan the article is anyone is interested in reading it.
I'd be very interested too as I have heard of this method from various sources. Apparently an enzyme in the milk attacks the mildew but I would love to read the whole idea in one article and not the bits and pieces of info I've received from various sources so far..
I got this wee tip from my Gran when I was a wee boy in Glasgow, and that was early 50's. I wonder how she knew about it, as it's definitely one of those 'old country' treatments which have been hushed-up by the chemical companies.
I reckon that a lot of so-called old-wive's ideas have been hushed up by the chemical companies!! I'm constantly amazed to read of new breakthroughs in the New Scientist and find they are reporting proof of somethings that's been know for centuries as though it was a new idea. It seems to me, we are constantly inventing the wheel, in gardening and other areas..
My grandfather also used home-made remedies and never had a problem in his garden.
By the way, in Yorkshire we also say wee and call children bairns! It must be all those marauding Scots that came south for the cattle! (or then, we could have had the same lot of Vikings).
I found the article and decided to type it since it is relatively short.
ANTI-FUNGAL USE FOR MILK
"What do Brazilian zucchini farmers and New Zealand's melon growers have in common? Both groups are using milk instead of synthetic fungicides to control mildew on their crops and its working. Although nobody knows exactly how it works, Brazilian scientist Wagner Bettiol's experiment using weekly sprays of at least a 10% milk solution (one part milk to nine parts water) suggests that the milk is both an immune stimulant and a lethal fungicide to Sphaerotheca fuliginea, the organism that causes mildew in squashes, melons, and other cucurbits. Bettiol used fresh milk straight from the cow. For farmers and gardeners without access to a bovine supplier, skim milk has been shown to be just as effective by researchers in New Zealand."
The American Gardener, The Magazine of the American Horticultural Society, July/August 2002, pgs 15,16.
I have found it to be highly effectice on mildew but less effective on black spot on roses or say fungus on tomatoes (early or late blight) so I have generally stopped using it in favor of other treatments that do both. Now thwt I have gone totally organic maybe I will give it a try again cant hurt.
I've just spotted the mildew on my phlox. One message said 5.5 parts to 1 part milk and the other said 9 to 1. Does it matter? Also, how often do you spray AND does this mildew spread to other plants around it? thanks! Su