What’s that sh!t on my Mint?

Ever since winter rolled around the corner my window sill of herbs have been struggling. In summer the kitchen window is the perfect spot for my little herb garden. Its a sunny spot, not to hot and not to cold, allowing my edibles to gain their required time of Vitamin D. But recently that’s all turned upside down with my Rosemary, Oregano and Basil not getting their minimum daily sun allowance leaving their slightly brown and frozen with little or no growth in sight. Now putting them in the sun is the quick fix, but the sun isn’t the problem.

This position has actually allowed my Mint to thrive- great right? So much so its creeping across my small (yet wonderful) collection of teapots and growing up and over the other terra cotta pots.

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Killing this joy though is the sudden realisation that there is white stuff growing at the base of my mint.

So what the heck is it and how do I treat it? Diseases and insect infestations are not my strong point so through dedicated research and much conversation amongst my plant loving colleagues I have come to a conclusion, and thankfully a solution.

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The general feedback has led me to believe that I have Powdery Mildew (PM) on my Mint due to the white stuff being slightly fury, very white and being on the stems, roots  and base of the plant. As described my plants are in a (currently) shady but warm-ish position thus making it the perfect place for this fungus to spread. There are fungicides available like horticultural oil, but I personally I like to keep that as a last option. So with that in mind, what do I do?

 

(1) Move it outside. Somewhere where there is good air circulation, a warmer and much sunnier spot than the one it was in previously and a spot that allows fast evaporation – the moisture hanging around in the soil and stems is definitely a catalyst for quick growing PM.

(2) Cut off / Scrape off the infected stems. Keep it away from the other plant babies (don’t want to infect them also).

(3) Keep the general rule in mind of cutting down on your watering amount and frequency during winter.

If you’re here looking for some advice – good luck! If not and you’re just here for fun, enjoy this infographic on Culinary Herbs.

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