So why do we use common ice melter on our plants? Diseases such as powdery mildew and a gray mold called botrytis can wreak havoc on plants, especially in the greenhouse. This disease is common in greenhouses as crowded plants are grown in an environment with higher humidity. Here at Dayton’s we have implemented a natural control for greenhouse disease.
And, believe it or not, we use something as simple as the ice melter you purchase for your walkways and driveway in the winter.
Dowflake calcium chloride (or Tetraflake) is OMRI listed which means it is an organic product. Luckily this product is also easy for the homeowner to use to control the same diseases on susceptible home crops such as squash, cucumbers, other veggies, herbs, certain flowers and others. Plus, it is rather inexpensive and a sprayer full of the product will last a long time as it doesn’t degrade easily, allowing you to keep the same sprayer full of product all season long or until it runs out.
- Mix 2½ TBSP in a 2 gallon pump sprayer.
- Spray susceptible plants twice weekly during the growing season
Benefits of using calcium chloride to control diseases:
Supplies readily available calcium to plants to help withstand a fungal attack
No waiting period after product has been applied until you can handle the plants safely
Organic and OMRI rated
Easy to mix
With help from studies conducted by Dr. Uttara Samarakoon, an assistant professor in greenhouse and nursery management at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, we have been effective in controlling these diseases with calcium chloride.