Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Dilema of Organic

So I kept my pickling cucumber after installing the new garden bed around it. I had every faith that it would survive the installation of the bed around it and the new soil, in my mind, would only supplement the nutrients needed to make FABULOUS pickling cucumbers. Plus, there were two little cucumbers growing nicely and I wanted to see MORE MORE MORE!!!


Alas...the other day I go out and much to my dismay my pretty little cucumber plant had white powder all over its leaves.

I need to take a moment to explain something...I am from the east coast. I have seen many kinds of mold, mildew, fungus, growths, dying plants of various types and from various illnesses (usually my lack of watering but whatever)...I have never seen white powder.  Sadly, I knew what this was because a plant from my office had the same stuff not more than a month earlier. Seems, here in Oregon, white powdery mildew is quite common in these types of vegetables (cucumbers that is).  The worst part...the only real solution...rip it all out.  My heart sank.  Here, I had saved this precious plant from the compost pile only to have it taken over by mildew.

So here is what you do about white powdery mildew...bag the plant (to prevent the mold from spreading to other plants) after which you will RIP the poor unsuspecting baby from its warm, soft bed.  As you shed tears of remorse and regret and frustration...simply close the bag and throw the whole thing away in the nearest trashcan or dumpster. (If you feel it necessary, you might say a few words for your fallen friend at this point.)

THEN...put together a bicarbonate spray (of course I am going to give you the recipe...sheesh)...

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 drop liquid soap in 2 quarts of water in a spray bottle. Mix well.  (as described in Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening) 

You will use this spray to spray your other plants to ensure they don't get the funk.  DO NOT make a stronger concentration...you will burn the leaves of your plants...TRUST ME! There are evidently some premade products on the market (GreenCure)...but I have the above in my kitchen so I thought it would be better...oh, and cheaper.

Alas...I lost one little soldier...but I learned a lot from this moment. Here is the last photo of my beloved's precious leaves before I bagged her!

Rest in peace my little friend.

OH...in case it wasn't obvious...DO NOT put the remains of your dying little friend in your compost...BAD BAD idea. Just sayin'!

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