Powdery Mildew Prevention II: Gardening Techniques

Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Powdery Mildew is a powerful force that is worthy of your time and prevention efforts. It is undeniable that there are lots of spores in our environment but there are also a lot of ways to deny them. There is no use in claiming ignorance.  Spores present a real garden threat and they won’t be disappearing from the planet unless we do (and they might still be around after that). We’re talking about keeping them out of our garden and stopping them from breeding if they do find their way in.

The Power of Denial

Although you may be looking at how to prevent powdery mildew from affecting your indoor garden you have to work from the outside in. In order to keep spores outdoors, take steps to ensure that you and your friends are not going from another garden (especially an outdoor garden) directly into another garden without showering and changing clothes. It may seem melodramatic but remember, we’re dealing with a phantom menace. A Way to Grow gardener shared, that after unsuccessfully fighting PM for some time, he finally came to realize that he was bringing in spores from some infected rose bushes he continually walked past when entering his house.

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Powdery mildew on cucurbit leaves

Powdery Mildew Prevention I: Garden Design & Climate Control

How Garden Design & Climate Control Can Help Prevent Powdery Mildew

So the background check into powdery mildew spores confirms that they can be a habitual offender, a persistent pain in the ass. If your plants have ever been afflicted, then you know PM is a menace. What makes PM a phantom menace? Standard definitions of ‘phantom’ suggest something unreal, like a ghost. That obviously doesn’t apply here. Ask any gardener who has dealt with PM: it’s all too real. Ask that same person how they feel about PM and they may well touch on other definitions of phantom: something hated, feared, or deceptive.

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Powdery Mildew Pinnate Leaves

Hello, My Name is Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew May Be Your Arch-Nemesis! 

Powdery mildew is a major challenge for both global food producers and small scale gardeners. There are a number of ways to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of this pesky mildew.

Prevention is Your Bestie

First and foremost, prevention is key. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Once it is in your environment, it is very difficult to eradicate. Taking preventative measures will help to mitigate risk and potentially save your garden from infestation.  

Weather Resistant

Powdery mildew spores are very hardy and weather resistant. They can even survive throughout the winter. Carefully screen any plants before bringing outdoor plants indoors for the colder season or when integrating new plants into your grow. Examine both sides of the leaves, fruits, and stems. If you have space, consider creating a ‘quarantine’ area where you can put new plants for the first few weeks. This may seem like a drastic step but consider that eradicating powdery mildew can be a significant amount of work.

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