Powdery mildew on leaves

jerryungJuly 30, 2008

I've had a few days of rain and now all my squash, cucumber and melon plants have mildew growing. I cut off the leaves as soon as I saw the mildew forming, but now the stems have the mildew on them too. Are there any non toxic means of helping the the plants recover? I have some black futsus forming but the flowers haven't ripened open yet. I'm afraid the mildew will get to them before they ripen.

Most of my squash plants, black futsu, melonette jaspee de vendee are just recovering from SVB and they are already weaken. I'm about to pull out the unproductive ones and plant Autumn glow butternut in their place. These butternuts are supposed to have an 80 day maturity. I've added some mycorrhizal inoculants to the seeds and waiting for them to sprout. So hopefully I will have some squash for winter by mid october. It's normally in the mid fifties here in early to mid october during the day. I've already replanted my marina di chioggia about 2 weeks ago, but I doubt they will be ripe by then. My newly replanted honeyboat squash seedlings were missing this morning. Just their roots were left.

Thankfully I had no squash bugs this year. But the SVBs did quite some damage to my plants.

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organic_mamag(Z5 IN)

I am having the same problem. I read on the internet that sometimes using a mixture of milk and water sprayed on the plants weekly will keep powdery mildew at bay. I don't know if it works or not, but this morning I went out and sprayed all my spaghetti squash, zucchini, and pumpkins with the stuff. You might want to try it. I'll let you know how mine does.

If you want the specifics, I wrote about it in my blog today (linked below).

Here is a link that might be useful: My blog post about powdery mildew

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 4:56PM
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jerryung

Organic Mamag,

Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try on my remaining squash plants. At this point I'm not sure it will work cause the vines and leaves are already starting to wilt. It was cloudy and humid today. I guess tomorrow I'll spray them with alkaline water from my water ionizer mixed with some organic whole milk.

Thanks,
Jerry

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 1:31AM
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marci229

Did it work? I have the same problem. I have up chicken wire and I noticed the fenced areas where the pumpkin grew up is not as affected. I am trying to figure out if I should get rid of all the infected leaves to save the few good leaves we have. . . I sprayed with fungicide. I will try the baking soda--but I heard not to do fungicide and baking soda at once, so I will wait. I could try the milk as well. I'm holding out hope that I can save the three pumpkins that are only about four inches big right now. Also, if the mildew spreads, is it okay to plant pumpkins next season in the same space?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 1:14AM
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elwood45

I started using the mixture of water and milk (9 parts water 1 part milk) last year it works great,but you have to get after the mildew AS SOON AS YOU SEE IT or it becomes a real problem.
I read about this mixture in our papers gardening section.A recomadation use 2% low fat milk

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:12PM
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halfmast56(5)

I used the milm/water combo and added 1 tbs non antibacterial liquid soap to break the water tension. at least things are not worse.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 8:44AM
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jerryung

I've given up on treating the mildew infected plants. Hopefully whatever survives and produces seeds will have a genetic makeup with some mildew resistance. With all my neighbors growing squash and mildew, there's no way my plants can remain uninfected for long. The soap is great for aphids I've found. Milk attracts the neighborhood stray cats and they do a number to the roots of all my plants. Them and the squirrels are my biggest problems besides mildew, and SVBorers.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 2:26AM
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magickiwi(Zone 5 Michigan)

Yes - try the mixture of 1 part skim milk to 9 parts water. BUT spray that first thing in the spring when your plants are beginning to grow - and then just spray again when you think of it! If you use whole milk you risk getting a bad smell. I have used this mixture on all my gardens and flower beds and haven't had mildew and black spot in over 5 years yet my neighbor has a terrible problem with both - on everything!!! Others have told me they won't use it as it sounds like a witches brew! go figure. Never had a problem with cats! Also if you soak your seedlings, soil and seeds with a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water your plants will thank you - it seems to give them a great start and the plants seem stronger.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:31PM
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susanne_in_nl(z6-7 Netherlands)

I also had a problem with PM on my containered acorn squash this year. I used a fungicide but it only worked marginally. The plants did stay alive enough to get a few squash, though.

I was wondering as well if I should be careful not to use any of the same dirt and sanitize my containers to delay the onset of the PM in next year's planting. Does it really matter?

I do think I'll try using the milk/water spraying from about mid-summer (when the PM first popped up this yeaar) to try to delay its progress. I like this method a lot more than using chemicals.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 5:05PM
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