7 pointers for treating your garden with fungicides

Fungicides are pesticides that can kill or inhibit growth of fungi on plants. When using fungicides in your garden, it is important to first determine if your plant actually needs a fungicide. If necessary, here are some tips when applying fungicides in your garden.

7 pointers for treating your garden with fungicides

1. Think ahead

To work effectively, many fungicides must be applied before a disease starts to develop.

  • Note which plants in your garden are attacked by fungus each year and use a protective fungicide before any trouble begins.

2. Homemade fungicide

  • Spraying leaves with a mixture of five millilitres (one teaspoon) of baking soda and several drops of vegetable oil dissolved in one litre of water helps prevent powdery mildew on houseplants and cucurbit (gourd) crops.
  • On roses, it protects against both powdery mildew and black spot.

3. Know your enemy

To pick the proper fungicide, find out exactly what kind of fungal disease is attacking your plant.

  • Among the most common culprits that cause diseases on leaves are powdery mildew and rusts.
  • Your local garden centre or nursery can help you to identify the disease and suggest both the safest and most effective method of control.

4. Treat plant diseases with vinegar

You can use vinegar to treat a host of diseases, including rust, black spot and powdery mildew.

  • At the first sign of trouble, mix 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar in two litres of water and spray it on the plants in the morning or early evening.

5. Take two and call me in the morning

Aspirin is not only a first-aid provision for you, but for your garden as well.

  • Some gardeners grind it up and mix it with water to treat fungus conditions in the soil (others use the ground aspirin as a rooting agent).
  • But be careful when using aspirin around plants; too much of it can cause burns or other damage to your greenery.
  • When treating soil, the typical dosage should be a half to one full aspirin tablet in one litre  of water.

6. Is it really a fungus?

Sometimes a problem you suspect is fungal disease is actually the result of overwatering, underwatering or a nutritional imbalance in the soil. If so, a fungicide is of absolutely no benefit.

  • Seek expert advice when you are in doubt.

7. How to spray

  • When using a chemical fungicide, treat all leaf surfaces thoroughly, even the undersides, and work your way carefully from the lower leaves to the top of the plant.
  • Read the manufacturer's directions and follow them to the letter, because fungicides can injure plant leaves when applied in certain types of weather.
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