Today we are going to talk about the different uses of milk in the garden or orchard based on experience and science.
Milk as a disinfectant.
This is one of the ways to use milk in the garden, as a disinfectant.
According to a Michigan State University study,Milk has proven to be an effective alternative disinfectant for greenhouse tools to prevent manual transmission of viruses.“
Instead of using a toxic bleach solution to disinfect various yard or garden accessories, soak them in milk to disinfect them.
Milk even prevents the transmission of many tomato diseases, such as tobacco mosaic virus. Also, the tools don’t corrode or rust as much when cleaned with milk.
As a fungicide.
Milk can be used for fight fungal diseases such as mold, rot and powdery mildew.
You can spray a diluted mixture on the surface of the leaves of the plants to decrease their susceptibility to fungal infestations.
Milk is also a powerful additive to improve the adsorption of pesticides and prevent them from being washed away by strong winds and rain.
Additionally, milk has been shown to slow the transmission of pathogenic viruses, such as tobacco mosaic virus.
Some have used skim milk powder with great success. For tomatoes, try mixing a quarter cup of Epsom salts with a quarter cup of skim milk powder and pour this mixture into the bottom of the planting hole. Add some compost or soil and stir. Now place your tomato plants and firm up the soil.
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of skim milk powder directly on the surface of the soil and work it in to a depth of a few inches. Add a few extra tablespoons of skim milk powder every two weeks for the rest of the growing season.
With hot and humid days comes the onset of powdery mildew. Milk is also a very effective fungicide in the garden, in fact often better than many commercial fungicides for controlling powdery mildew. The potassium phosphate in milk is thought to stimulate the plant’s immune system to fight off fungus.
Spray powdery mildew plants with a mixture of nine parts water and one part skim milk powder. Cover the leaves of any plants susceptible to powdery mildew, such as pumpkins, melons and cucumbers, with the milk mixture first thing in the morning. It is also effective on bergamot and phlox, prone to mildew attacks in summer. You may need to repeat the spray every week or after every rain.
A diluted milk spray can ward off powdery mildew and even sweeten your tomatoes and melons. At least it won’t damage your skin or affect your lungs like many chemicals can.
Try using it on your roses, your tomatoes and if all else fails, use it as gardeners have done for centuries, as a milk bath for your weary bones.
Home remedy for black spots on roses.
Rose bushes are susceptible to black spot, caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae, which prefers warm, moist and humid conditions.
One way to solve this problem is to spray the affected areas with diluted cow’s milk. The reason milk is so effective is that it contains lactoferrin, a powerful bactericide and fungicide.
Horticulture professor and author Jeff Gillman, who has researched this problem extensively, advises using 1 part milk and 2 parts water to spray roses once a week until the problem goes away. .
Improves soil health.
This ancient practice of using milk to improve soil health has been revived after positive reports surfaced online. According to research by Bridgett Jamison Hilshey and Sid Bosworth of the University of Vermont, grasses subjected to milk sprays achieved healthy growth and remained disease-free even in the presence of seasonal pathogens and destructive insects. of the ground.
Additionally, the application of milk improved the soil’s ability to absorb air and water.
Milk as fertilizer.
Since milk is a good source of calcium, you can use it occasionally to feed your plants.
This homemade milk fertilizer can be used for vegetable plants like tomatoes, peppers and squash that suffer from blossom rot.
If you have milk left, use it diluted (50% milk and 50% water) to water your plants around their base or use this solution as a foliar spray.
Remedy for blossom end rot.
Can milk be used to cure the problem of flower rot that occurs in plants of the tomato family?
The cause is the lack of transport of calcium to the plant from the soil. This can be due to many factors, such as a lack of constant moisture and dry soil.
But if it’s due to a lack of calcium, you can try using milk to kill blossom rot. In this Harvest to Table article he speaks positively but not everyone is of the same opinion and doubts are expressed as to the effectiveness of this home remedy.
Controls soft-bodied insects like aphids.
Milk can be used to control aphids. Research conducted by the University of Punjab, India shows that the use of cow’s milk is effective against aphids, thrips and mites. According to the published article, milk in higher concentration (whole or 50%) was harmful to aphids.
Associate Professor Linda Chalker-Scott, urban horticulturist at Washington State University also writes that “Leaves coated with milk spray may be less susceptible to aphid attackin your article.
Milk and molasses for your garden.
Molasses can enhance the benefits of milk.
Disadvantages of using milk in the garden.
Along with the advantages of using dairy fertilizers, you need to include their disadvantages.
Among them are:
- Using too much milk is not a good idea, as the bacteria in it spoil, resulting in an unpleasant odor and poor growth.
- Milk fat can also produce unpleasant odors as it breaks down.
- Benign fungal organisms that colonize leaves and break down milk can be aesthetically unappealing.
- Skim milk powder causes black rot, soft rot and alternaria leaf spot in treated crucifers.
What type of milk can be used in the garden?
I like to use expired milk, a great way to recycle, but you can also use fresh milk, evaporated milk, or even powdered milk.
It is important to dilute the milk with water. Mix a solution of 50% milk and 50% water.
When using milk fertilizer as a foliar spray, add the solution to a spray bottle and apply it to the leaves of the plants. The leaves will absorb the milk solution.
However, keep in mind that some plants, such as tomatoes, are prone to fungal diseases if the compost sits too long on the leaves. If the solution is not absorbed properly, you can gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or spray them with water.
You can use less milk if you have a lot of plants to feed, like a large garden.
You can also pour the milk mixture around the base of the plants, where the roots will gradually absorb the milk. It works well in small gardens. I usually place the top of a 2 liter bottle (upside down) in the ground next to new plants at the start of the season. This makes an excellent reservoir for watering and feeding plants with milk.
Do not treat the area with any type of pesticide or chemical fertilizer after applying milk manure. This can affect the main component of milk manure that really helps plants: bacteria. Although there may be some odor due to bacteria decomposing, the odor should fade within a few days.