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Master gardener shares a helpful hack for tackling a major nemesis of plants: 'It can be difficult to control'

Spraying this solution also helps deter another bane of every gardener's existence.

Spraying this solution also helps deter another bane of every gardener’s existence.

Photo Credit: @smilingsoil / Instagram

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can wreak havoc on your garden, stunting plant growth and potentially halting fruit and flower production. However, one Instagrammer recently shared an easy way to fight the fungus.

The scoop

"You're enjoying your garden when all of a sudden … powdery mildew," Melissa (@smilingsoil) said in her how-to video. "Here's what you do."

All you need for Melissa's all-natural powdery mildew destroyer is a spray bottle, milk, and water. Fill the bottle with 1/3 milk and 2/3 water, then spray any plants that are suffering from powdery mildew. Make sure to spray during full sun, she added.

"Research is still confirming the science here, but when the milk fat is combined with sunlight it creates an antiseptic effect, fighting off the mildew. Awesome." she said.

Melissa added that when she starts seeing powdery mildew pop up on her plants, she begins applying the solution in two-day intervals.

"If you have a massive outbreak or wait too long it can be difficult to control," she said in the comments.

She added that spraying this solution also helps deter another bane of every gardener's existence — aphids.

How it's helping

If left untreated, powdery mildew can stunt the growth of your plants. In extreme cases, it can even reduce the quality and quantity of flowers and fruit, ruining your harvest. Thus, it's imperative that you tackle this garden nemesis head-on.

Store-bought fungicides often cost about $10 a bottle, but Melissa's hack will save you cash and a trip to the store (provided you have milk on hand). 

Plus, Mother Nature will thank you for going all-natural. Fungicides can threaten bees and other beneficial insects. In fact, a few fungicides can kill bees on contact. 

They can also negatively impact bees' development, behavior, reproduction, and health. 

Traditional fungicides also can reach aquatic ecosystems through runoff, threatening a variety of organisms.

What everyone's saying

Commenters expressed gratitude for the information, and many were enthusiastic to try the hack for themselves.

"Thank you!" one person said. "I learned something new today!!"

Another person added, "I'll try it next year. Mildew wiped out all my pumpkin plants this year."

"I've never heard (of applying) in full sun!" someone else said. "Today I learned."

"It makes a huge difference!" Melissa replied.

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