Posted on 13 April 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Plant Disease: Bacterial Leaf Spot and How to Treat It

Photo Credit: Small spots and coalescing lesions of bacterial pustule by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Photo Credit: Small spots and coalescing lesions of bacterial pustule by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Bacterial leaf spot is a fungal issue that many gardeners develop in their gardens.

This can be prevented by buying healthy plants, spacing the plants out according to their variety, protecting plants from water splashing up on them with newspaper, and watering at the correct time.

But if you do get bacterial leaf spot, there are two easy organic treatments the can be used and the supplies are no farther than your kitchen.

The main ingredient to the first approach is milk. A spray of milk and water is surprisingly a solution to any bacterial leaf spot and mildew problem. Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and lettuce can be susceptible to this plant disease. The success of this treatment depends on when you discover the problem. The sooner the better and the more often you apply the treatment the better the success rate.

To begin the treatment, one must first mix up the solution. Do not mix up more then what you are going to use in a few days. The formulation for this spray is 50 percent milk and 50 percent water. Place this solution in a spray bottle and put in the fridge when not using.

Once you identify bacterial leaf spot and/or mildew, you will need to apply the spray described above for the next three to four consecutive days. Reapply if it rains during this time. After you have the fungal problem under control, you can apply the milk spray once a week. Also this spray is great for the dreaded tomato mosaic disease.

Another surprising ingredient that can be used to treat plant fungal problems is apple cider vinegar. To utilize this technique, one must first mix up a solution of 3 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (5%) to one gallon of water. Place this solution in a spray bottle and apply in the morning. Continue with this treatment every day until the fungal problem has disappeared.

The best part of this second solution is that it does not require refrigeration and a large batch of it can be made up ahead of time. Plant disease is something that every gardener will have to deal with in their gardening history. How you treat it will determine when you can harvest your crop and how safe it is to eat. So until we blog again, the garden is an Eden that contains all creatures great and small. Welcome them all as part of the natural process we call life.

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