Milk is a fungicide experimented by research and a soft-bodied insecticide – insects have no pancreas to digest milk sugars. Dr. Wagner Bettiol, a Brazilian research scientist, discovered that milk was effective in treating oidium on zucchini. His research was subsequently replicated by New Zealand melon growers who tested it against the main commercially available chemical fungicide and found that milk exceeded everything else. To their surprise, they also discovered that milk worked as a leaf fertilizer, producing bigger and tastier melons than the control group.
Recently, David Wetzel, a farmer from Nebraska, completed a 10-year study on the application of milk at different levels to his pastures and recorded the results with the help of Territorial extension agent Terry Gompert, a university soil specialist. , pest and insect researcher.
What they found was surprising: the production of grass has increased dramatically; the porosity of the soil or the ability to absorb air and water doubled; activity and populations of microbes are increased; the cows were healthier and produced more milk on the treated pastures; the level of brix or sugar in tripled pasture, indicating that more nutrients were stored in the grass than before. The grasshoppers have abandoned the treated pastures – the sugars are a poison for the soft-bodied insects as they do not have a pancreas to process the sugars. This also explains why insects will leave the plants alone healthy and high in brix, as they contain more sugar than those stressed and sick. Milk works as a fertilizer.
How to use milk in the garden
Reading these data (and not only), it is possible to use the milk in different ways, which we will list later:
1. As a disinfectant
According to Michigan State University, “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 garden pruners and scissors, immerse them in milk to disinfect them. Milk also prevents the transmission of many diseases of the tomato as the tobacco mosaic virus. As a bonus, the tools do not corrode or rust when they are cleaned with milk.
2. As a fungicide
milk can be used successfully to combat fungal diseases such as mold and fungi. Spray a mixture diluted on the surface of the leaves of the plants reduces their susceptibility to fungus infestations. Milk is also a powerful additive to improve the adsorption of pesticides and prevent the outflow caused by strong winds and rain.
3. As a fertilizer
Since milk is a good source of calcium, you can use it occasionally to nourish your plants. This fertilizer can be used for vegetable plants such as tomatoes, peppers and zucchini that suffer from rot. If you have spare milk, use it diluted (50% milk and 50% water) to water the plants around their base or use this solution as a leaf spray.
4. Check the aphids
Milk can be used to control aphids. Research conducted by Punjab University in India shows that the use of cow’s milk is effective against aphids, thrips and mites. According to the published post, high concentration milk (whole or 50%) was harmful to aphids.
Associate professor Linda Chalker-Scott, an urban horticulturist at Washington State University, also writes that “The leaves coated with a milk spray may be less vulnerable to the attacks of aphids” in his article.