Monday, October 10, 2011

Save the Butternuts

Two days ago, I had these great looking pumpkin vines and a variety of squash plants that were bursting with plump little fruits and bright yellow flowers.  Then I went to bed.  A morning stroll around the garden yesterday revealed an overnight sneak attack of powdery mildew.  That stuff moves fast.  By today, the leaves all look like this:

Powdery Mildew, a fungal disease, is a common ailment in the late summer, and squash plants are particularly susceptible.  The little fungi spores are spread by wind, insects, and rain (or overhead watering).  If you find the white powdery spots on any of your plants, move fast.  Immediately remove and discard infected leaves.  Do not compost them.  Spray the plant with a baking soda or sulphur mixture or with neem oil.  You'll need to stay right on top of it to prevent continued spread.  This disease will cause premature leaf fall and will weaken the overall plant.

It would be a serious shame to lose even one of these little guys, wouldn't it?  Let's hope my squirt bottle and I won that showdown.


  1. I've got aphids on my squash so I've been soaking tomato leaves overnight and using the "juice" to spray the undersides of all my squash leaves. I'm hoping it does the trick because I do not want to use pesticides.

  2. i had this problem this summer but i didn't win. but, to be fair, i didn't really fight all that hard. thanks for the tips though. i will file this away for next year!! hope you win the fight! haha

  3. I had this too and lost all my squash, zucchini and pumpkin plants. :(. I pulled off all affected leaves but it still came back. Good luck!

  4. Joy, sorry to hear about your aphids - those things are such a bother! I'd love to hear if your tomato leaf solution worked. I've read about it, but haven't tried it. I've read, too, that household dish soap diluted in water can help, as well. Good luck! Becky and Debby, this is my first bout of powdery mildew. Wouldn't you know, it has been raining all day today. I am sure more mildew is growing as we speak! I'll let you know how it all works out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...