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Powdery Mildew, will it ruin my soil?

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Powdery Mildew, will it ruin my soil?

Post  imtethered on 9/13/2012, 4:58 pm

I've had a terrible case of Powdery Mildew that I was unable to get under control and it eventually killed most of my garden. My question is will the spores live in my garden soil and compost over winter? Is there anything I can do to save the soil and compost? Is there anything that will kill the spores?
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Re: Powdery Mildew, will it ruin my soil?

Post  rowena___. on 9/13/2012, 5:43 pm

powdery mildew is everywhere. however, it won't spread unless conditions for it are right for incubation, which means cool, moist/humid, and little air circulation. PM won't generally kill a plant, but it can cause cosmetic damage that many people find unacceptable. in my opinion, the most effective approach is to practice good housekeeping--keep debris picked up, rake the surface of the soil to help air it out and expose more of it to direct sunlight.
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Re: Powdery Mildew, will it ruin my soil?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 9/13/2012, 8:43 pm

I agree with Rowena. BUT, this year seems to have given us the perfect storm of conditions for powdery mildew. I'm so sick of spraying baking soda mixes and even copper sprays for it, that I've adopted the wisdom: "If she die, she die." Too many squash for winter storage as it is; what doesn't finish maturing is compost. Nonna

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Re: Powdery Mildew, will it ruin my soil?

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/14/2012, 11:46 am

Agreed, Nonna. I got sick of spraying for PM, too, and decided to let them go by if that's how it went. Even tho my area is very windy so there's lots of air circulation, the Cape notorious for humid summers. I think I read somewhere that the winter here will kill the PM off a bit. *shrug*

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Re: Powdery Mildew, will it ruin my soil?

Post  Unmutual on 9/14/2012, 3:26 pm

All of my snow peas came down with powdery mildew(PM) this spring, simply because it was warmer and more humid than usual. The next crop(tomatoes and peanuts) did not suffer from PM, though I did clean up the surface of the soil before replanting.

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Re: Powdery Mildew, will it ruin my soil?

Post  cpl100 on 9/14/2012, 4:18 pm

How did you clean up the surface?
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