With a particularly rainy season, this year will be remembered by gardeners and market gardeners as a particularly disastrous mildew year! This fungal disease has found in these exceptional weather conditions the perfect parameters to spread at high speed. In the vegetable garden, it affects tomatoes in particular, but other plants such as potatoes or vines are also affected. Downy mildew is a microscopic fungus that turns parts of the leaves, stems and fruits brown. Leaf tips darken to brown. The same goes for the stem on which spots form, compromising the survival of the affected plant and even of the entire crop.

What are the means to limit the damage?

Unfortunately, when mildew has taken over the plants, it is often already too late! It is a disease that can spread very quickly, especially when the weather is windy and thus contributes to the dissemination of the spores of this fungus! Nevertheless, there are some tips to prevent mildew from appearing in crops:

  • Space the plants to aerate well because humidity favors the appearance of mildew.
  • Do not cut suckers (creating a wound is conducive to mildew)
  • Water in the morning rather than the evening to avoid excess humidity.
  • Rotate the crop every four to five years maximum

There are also some tips for dealing with mildew to “limit the damage”. One of the best natural preventive and curative treatments against this disease is horsetail manure!

Downy mildew on tomato foliage!

Horsetail Manure: Good use and dosage!

Horsetail is rich in silica and its manure is an excellent product for strengthening the defenses of vegetable plants and fruit trees and which helps in the fight against diseases caused by fungi such as this famous mildew. Once obtained, this natural fungicide  can be used all year round to  strengthen the resistance of plants or to fight against fungal diseases such as mildew, but also rust, powdery mildew, scab, blister or moniliosis. for example.

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Making and using horsetail manure, step by step:

  1. Harvesting: Horsetail is often found on embankments along roads, in fields or in gardens. Harvest it from the month of May, by cutting its stems with a knife or bill pruner. If you can’t find it, you can buy dried and crushed horsetail, which is just as effective, of course.
  2. Preparation / Maceration: Then place these dry horsetails in a large container (not metal) filled with water. Count 1kg of fresh leaves for 10 liters of water, or 100 grams of dried horsetail for 6 liters of water. Then leave to ferment for about 10-15 days, stirring regularly. The manure will be ready when you no longer see any bubbles on the surface of the preparation and it will be dark, almost black.
  3. Filtration / Use: Then filter the result in order to eliminate all the impurities. Dilute 1 volume of horsetail manure for 10 volumes of water. Use a sprayer for application on affected plants, or preventively. To be effective, renew the spray every 2-3 weeks.

You should also know that there is a different method which consists after a day of maceration in boiling this mixture for 20-30 minutes and letting it cool. After filtration, this allows the manure to be used more quickly. For its conservation, the horsetail manure must be placed in a cool and dark place, in an airtight plastic, glass or wooden container, but especially not in metal, because it oxidizes the preparation. In this way, it can be kept for almost 2 to 3 months, without any problem.

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Amazing & Bizarre

Amazing & Bizarre is a gardening blog dedicated to curious gardeners and lovers of rare plants. Find all our natural gardening advice, our culture sheets, our original cooking recipes, our DIY tips and our creative ideas!

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