Fungicide can be a useful preventative measure for gardeners with plants that are especially prone to rot and disease. If you’re concerned about adding chemicals to your garden, depending on the condition and the disease, there are some natural alternatives:
- Milk is known as an effective treatment for powdery mildew. Mix a 50:50 milk to water solution in a spray bottle and apply to leaves of plants.
- Sulfur in dust form can keep disease at bay. Be sure to apply while wearing a mask so the dust doesn’t irritate your eyes and mouth.
- The “Cornell Formula” is a well known natural fungicide, which includes mixing 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon horticultural oil and 1 to 2 drops dishwashing liquid.
How to Dispose of a Diseased Plant
Many plant diseases can quickly return if the dead plant matter isn’t properly disposed of. In fact, most fungal, bacterial and viral plant diseases are spread naturally by wind currents, rain, soil seeds, insects and other animals. Others can survive on nearby dead plants or infected gardening tools. When you think you’ve collected all of the dead plant, follow these disposal tips:
- Compost: For less persistent diseases like powdery mildew, simply removing from live plants and allow to die off in compost. If you don’t have a compost at home, check with your local government for a nearby green waster center.
- Burial: For leaves or fruits with rot, burying the decay in a 1 foot deep hole will work.
- Bonfires: Dry, woody material like branches can be disposed of by setting a small bonfire. Be sure to handle on a non-windy day to reduce the risk of the fire spreading.
- Household trash: Infected bulbs, small wooden pruning and collapsed seedling can be tossed into your home garbage can.