Mold on my squash leaves

lowraineJuly 25, 2009

Do I need to be concerned about mold growing on my squash leaves? I guess this is the result of too much rain. I thought of pulling these leaves off, is this ok? I ask that question because I understand the plant needs leaves to bring in the sunshine.

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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Lowraine - Yes, you have reason to be concerned. What you have is powdery mildew, and it will continue to spread throughout the plant. Although it does not damage the existing fruit, it does limit the amount of photosynthesis that takes place, by destroying the plant's leaves. Remove all of the leaves that have it on them (assuming there's still some healthy leaves at the top), and spray copper fungicide on the new growth every week. Humid conditions is what the fungus thrives in, so that's why you have it. Cucumbers, cantaloupes, squash, and pumpkins all are subject to get it....


    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 3:35PM
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Yup. PM has gotten all of my squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe. At least I can start fall items now, so I don't feel so bad about it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 7:06PM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

Oh yuck, my squash are all infected too. There has been a lot of rain around here.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 12:55AM
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I think I may have the same problem as lowraine, ribbit32004 and floodthelast. Here is a picture of my squash. Is this powdery mildew??

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I was hoping to keep my SFG organic. Is the copper fungicide that engineeredgarden recommends considered organic?

Has anyone tried the copper fungicide and, if so, has it improved your problems?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 11:23PM
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susancol(7 Atlanta)

There are organic solutions to PM. 1 part milk to 9 parts water. or a .5 to 1% baking soda to water solution are both said to help. I'm trying that this year.

Actually, I made up the milk solution and then added a dash or two of baking soda. Might be a bad plan to combine them though. Don't know the chemisty involved. I guess I'll find out the hard way, or maybe someone will tell me. ;)

The thing with all of these solutions is that it has to be applied to the leaves. So if you have rain, it'll get washed off and must be re-applied.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 9:57AM
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I cut the leaves back and sprayed mine but anything I spray gets washed away by the constant storm that comes through this week. I pulled some of the squash up today.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 7:33PM
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My husband and I were only gone for 2 days, and when I went out to look at the garden this afternoon our beautiful squash plants were WHITE! I mean really white! Not even splotchy white but like a fine snow had fallen! We have never had this happen before in 25 years of growing a home garden, but have been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave this past week. I don't know if that has anything to do with this problem.
We sprayed with 1/2 and 1/2 1% milk and water solution. I wish some others would have come back and told if it worked for them, but I will come back and let you know if it worked or not. I sure hope it does!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 12:52AM
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One thing that definitely does work is 1 teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of Murphy's Oil Soap mixed with a quart of water in a spray bottle, like an old Windex bottle or something. Or you can use 1 Tablespoon of each in a gallon sprayer. Spray at dusk, though, to avoid the sun cooking the plant during the day, and cover both sides of the leaves thoroughly.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 2:06AM
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If I have powdery mildew on my squash leaves and have had to cut off most of them, will my squash receive enough nourishment from the few leaves left, or should I just harvest them now?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:37AM
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susancol(7 Atlanta)


Are they summer or winter squash? For summer squash you should harvest them at any time. For Winter squash, you should try to leave them on the plant as long as the stem on the squash is green. That means that the squash is still being fed by the plant. When the stem turns brown, feeding has stopped so there is no reason to leave them on the vine.

Hope that helps,

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 3:54PM
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