Over the weekend, just as the decision was made to take out the cantaloupes and replace them with radishes, we found this young cantaloupe. If you knew what this little plant has gone through you would understand our excitement. They were planted too late in the season, the dog destroyed a few, dad walked on a few, and here’s the best part -as I pointed out that there were a couple left that may live, I tripped and fell directly on them. A few days later we transplanted them to a quiet part of the garden and they ended up doing well despite me.
Unfortunately, the plants are completely covered with powdery mildew, which according to research will probably cause the leaves to wither and fall off, meaning that the plant will soon die since the leaves power the entire plant. There are several treatments available ranging from milk to essential oils to chemical fungicides.
Milk seemed like good start, so yesterday we sprayed two plants with a 30/70 whole milk/water mix as an experiment. A few sources recommended spraying enough milk to saturate the mildew spores. General consensus is that it’s the proteins in the milk that help, not the milk fat – so you can use whatever type milk you may have. It’s also recommended to spray in the warmer part of the day, which seemed odd to me. That’s why we opted to try a few plants first.
This morning it looks like there is less mildew on the experiment plants. Probably not enough to claim success but enough to continue the milk spray for the rest of the week. Check out the image below. The light is different, but I think you can tell that there is a bit less mildew in the pic on the right. Taken 10/11/16 ~10:10 am, about 24 hours after the first milk spray.