Zinnias Have Darkened And Leaves Have Turned Brown

Question From: J. Oflanagan - Seekonk, Massachusetts, United States
Q: Hi Nancy, For the fist time, this year, I planted zinnias around the mailbox. They were beautiful for a few months, but now have darkened and the leaves are brown and unattractive. I assume it's blight or fungus. Anything I can do to prevent this next year? They were just perfect for that spot. PS they were watered a lot from the sprinklers.

A: Overhead watering is a prime cause of fungal diseases. Zinnias are magnets for fungal diseases so treating them prior to infection is your best bet. Here's some information on the use of milk as a fungicide:
Milk - The latest player in the fight against powdery mildew is milk. It's not clear yet why it works so well, but it is believed that naturally occurring compounds in the milk are at work to combat the disease while also boosting the plant's immune system. One experiment showed good results by applying a weekly dose of one part milk to two parts water. (from Growing A Greener World by Joe Lamp'l)

Be sure to spray the undersides of the leaves. 

Good Luck and Happy Yardening, Nancy