As much as I love zinnias...

...I hate powdery mildew, a powdery-white fungus that always attacks them in Spring. Here's how I cured a powdery mildew infestation:


How to Cure Powdery Mildew:

I compared three powdery mildew cures: the broad-spectrum fungicide Daconil, a 10-percent solution of milk in water and a solution of one gallon water, one tablespoon baking soda, three tablespoons cooking oil and 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap. The Daconil and milk solutions reduced the powdery mildew on the plants sprayed with them 50-percent, even though the tops and bottoms of each leaf were sprayed until they dripped.

The clear winner was the baking soda solution. It completely eliminated every trace of powdery mildew on the plants on which it was sprayed. The image above is an example. Before spraying every leaf was solid white with powdery mildew. Twenty-four hours after being sprayed is was completely clear.

Of course the best time to spray is at the first sign of an infestation. Waiting until the plants are covered means that they are already weakened.

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