Gardening

Downy mildew of tomato, potato, onion, vine and other plants

The mildew , also known as late blight , caused disease is a different types of fungus that affects the plants. It mainly affects the crops of tomatoes, onion, potatoes, vine, eggplant, pepper.

Mildew can affect the leaves, fruits, and stems of the plant.

It is a pest as common as it is destructive.

Why does mildew appear?

Mildew appears when temperatures between 15 and 22 ºC occur, together with constant rainfall or watering or maintained humidity.

In addition, factors such as the lack of biodiversity in the garden (monocultures), poor aeration of the plants (sowing them very close to each other), excess nitrogen present in the soil, sprinkler irrigation, or when the plants have little exposure to the sun and too much in the shade.

Mildew spores can easily be spread to other plants through irrigation or rain water, poorly cleaned tools, or even by the wind.

How to differentiate mildew

If the disease that your plants suffer is caused by mildew, you will notice a greasy touch on the leaves, a whitish powder will appear on the underside of the leaves (underside) and spots in shades that vary: first they are green, then they pass through the yellow and eventually they end up being brown. On the stem, brown spots are usually seen that, when they surround the entire stem, interrupt the circulation of the sap through the plant, causing a weakening and even death in the part that remains above this spot.

When the pest is not remedied, it can even lead to the leaves drying out completely and continues with the rest of the plant.

Ecological remedies for mildew

If there are leaves, fruit, or even much of the plant that is affected by mildew, remove them to reduce the chances of it spreading to other healthy plants.

Since mildew mainly affects vegetables of the nightshade family, it is important that you carry out crop rotation and that in the next year you grow other plants resistant to mildew such as green beans, carrots, beets, cabbages or lettuces.

  • Horsetail: put 100 g of dried horsetail (200 g if you use fresh horsetail) in a saucepan with 4 liters of boiling water. Cover, put over medium heat and boil for another 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest for 3 hours. Then strain and spray the affected plants first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon.
  • Basil: if you plant basil around the nightshades you will be preventing the appearance of mildew.
  • Nettle: to 5 liters of water add 1 kg of fresh nettles (or 300 g if they are dry) and let it marinate for 8 days. Then strain and dilute the maceration before applying 1 part of nettle macerate for 2 of water. Spray the plants to prevent and combat mildew.
  • Garlic: boil 2 heads of crushed garlic in 2 liters of water for 15 minutes (cover the saucepan). Then remove from the heat and let it rest for 4 hours. Strain and spray the affected plants. You can also add an onion per liter of water to strengthen the antifungal properties of this preparation.

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