Powdery Mildew

GLizAugust 7, 2013

I have powdery mildew on my cucumbers and zucchini. Has anyone had luck with the baking soda/water spray treatment, or the fat-free milk/water spray? Are there other organic treatments that are more highly recommended?

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I've used the baking soda solution successfully.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Liz,

I've tried both milk and baking soda, and in my opinion both "fixes" are very temporary--at best.

As you can imagine, this topic comes up over and over around here, and I'm gonna link one of the "most thorough" threads down on the bottom. And I don't have time to live-link them, but here are a couple more copy/paste threads from "the past."



I haven't had much of a veggie garden for the last couple years, but when I do have squash and cukes they ALWAYS have mildew by this time of the year--if not sooner. After trying everything I knew about I finally went with the "system" of simply cutting off the leaves that have mildew, and keep cutting them off as more leaves get bad--on squash, at least, cukes would be kinda hard to be cutting all the little leaves off! At times in the past I've virtually defoliated my squash, and they just keep producing new foliage and I've never seen any apparent reduction in the production of fruit. Don't know if you want to try that or not, but you might get some other ideas on the thread linked below. Since we're not all that far from a freeze (say it ain't so!), you might want to consider just leaving them alone--in my experience it needs to get REALLY bad to keep the plants from growing. Maybe others will have more advice as to what it is or isn't worth trying at this point.

I don't remember if there were any mildew-specific squash/cuke threads, but if you want to see if you can find any, go to the very bottom of the main Rocky Mountain Gardening page and in the little search box just to the right of "birthdays" you can put it in to search just this forum rather than the whole GardenWeb.

Welcome to RMG,

Here is a link that might be useful: Shoveling Sand against the Tide?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Well, I'm still out there "hammering" on my plants all season!

I've got Immunox in case things seem to be going wrong in the ornamentals but using Bayer's 3-in-1 has been working well these last 3 years, I guess it has been that long. What I am prepared to do is to spray with Immunox as a change if there is a problem but, nearly everywhere, there hasn't been.

In the veggie garden, I have continued to be willing to pull squash plants that become too heavily infected with mildew. I've got back-ups. So, I am sowing seed for "fresh" plants about the last week of June. This year and last, I did that with cucumbers, as well. I find them to be good succession crops and the cukes look really great again, following the onions. I can harvest some of the sweet onions right in the middle of the bed, plunk in a cucumber plant, and then give it more room by harvesting more onions as it needs it. I don't know if more than 10% of the sweet onions are still in the ground right now but those cukes are filling in nicely. (I'm also harvesting cucumbers now from the earliest plantings where they had no neighbors.)

It works! However, the mildew hasn't been much of a problem the last couple of years. So . . . I end up with LOTS of zucchini & cukes late!! It's okay. I have always enjoyed feeding the compost. And, what's wrong with that?


    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 8:40AM
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Thank you for your helpful replies!

I will try the baking soda remedy. I read that it has to be repeated every 7-10 days, which is okay with me if the reward is happy healthy zucchini and cucumbers. So far we're not having any problems keeping up with the harvest. Last year by this time, our neighbors would run inside and lock the doors when they saw us coming with zucchini.

Steve, great idea to plant succession cucumbers as you dig up onions. I might do that next year with my greens bed.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 4:23PM
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