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powdery mildew and fruit on vine

Posted by liv2learn MA (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 5, 07 at 8:40

The powdery mildew didn't hit until late August this year, but when it did, it spread extremely fast. Since so many of my squashes had just barely survived vine borers, and it was almost September, I decided to not fight the PM and to let the vines die off. Will this hurt the winter squash fruits that are still on the vines but not yet fully mature? If I leave them on until the vine is brown from the PM, will the fruits rot? The two plants that have a lot of fruit are the birdhouse gourd and the delicata. Some of the delicata are starting to turn spotty orange, so I picked them to cure. But the birdhouse gourds are still pretty green and soft.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: powdery mildew and fruit on vine

No. The fruits should be okay.

Tahlequah, OK

RE: powdery mildew and fruit on vine

Thanks. I did have one rot while it was curing. Another delicata got infested with a borer. I did manage to save some.

RE: powdery mildew and fruit on vine

  • Posted by tomakers Cranberry Country, S (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 8, 07 at 2:51

Fortunately I had no SVB problems this year. However the powdery mildew has just about wiped out all my cucumbers, squash, and gourds. I tried spraying with Serenade, but it didn't even seem to phase the mildew. I thought that dry conditions would prevent mildew as this is the driest August in years, but then I read the other night that dry conditions favor it because the leaf surfaces never get cleaned off. Does anyone know which is the case? I have avoided watering from above to prevent just exactly this. Maybe I SHOULD have watered from above? I KNEW everything was going too good in the gourd garden. I do think the gourds will be OK, but they never got to the size I was anticipating. Just wait 'til next year.
I suppose I could have used something stronger than Serenade on the gourds, but I like to stick to organic as much as possible, even with stuff we are not eating.

RE: powdery mildew and fruit on vine

Lucky you to have evaded the borers. Did you do anything special to prevent their attack?

I also tried Serenade earlier in the summer for the mildew, but I think I needed a more constant prevention plan. At some point in late August I just gave up. I had also read that the mildew grows well in periods of warm dry days and cool, humid nights. I did notice that when we were having regular rains (but not too much rain) that the amount of mildew stayed low. It was when the latest long dry spell happened that the mildew took off.

RE: powdery mildew and fruit on vine

Unfortunately I can't put my finger on anything I did differently as far as the SVB goes. The plants were yellow crookneck from Pinetree Seeds and I started them inside about 4/15 and transplanted out about 6/1. I haven't had any difficulties with SVB on anything else but summer squash and zucchini.
I planted more SS and zucchini later in case of SVB, but the powdery mildew has seemed to be holding them back but not completely killing them. In fact the other day I fertilized them again and watered them deeply and this afternoon I noticed new leaves that are, at least for the present, free of mildew.
I never gave up on the Serenade untill the plants were all but dead. I did not start using it in time is what I am thinking, but I was under the false impression at the time that with the dry weather there really shouldn't be any problem. I guess I was spoiled by last year as I had little problem, although it does show up most years and I should know better. The other problem is I hate to spray ANYTHING on my plants organic or not.
Happy Gardening,

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