What’s Up Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What could be worse than mildew? Powdery MILDEW!

Yes, it is a problem with my plants. I noticed my zucchini plants were suddenly sending up lots of shoots. I thought, great! Productive! But then, I noticed the, for lack of better description, powdery-looking white patches on the leaves. A quick google search later, and the diagnosis – powdery mildew. I think this is what affected my zucchini plants last year!

How I’m trying to get rid of it:

I made a concoction based on this .pdf from the Appropriate Technology Transfer from Rural Areas (Attra): in a little less than a gallon container, I combined 2 Tbl. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, 1 1/2 Tbl. kitchen baking soda, 2 bags strongly brewed chamomile tea, and a little olive oil – maybe 1 Tbl. roughly. I shook it up, put it in a sprayer I happened to find (I didn’t think I had one! My original plan would have been to gently sponge the leaves), and after I watered the plants, I sprayed the leaves well.

I may have to cut off all the affected leaves, I will monitor it the next day or so, and see what happens.

I do this for the love of zucchini, yes, but also to just know more about what is happening, and how to grow healthy plants. Other things I could have done to prevent this: heavy mulching around the plants, and when watering, avoid getting the leaves wet. The mulching helps prevent the spores to get contact with your plants and leaves, and the leaves staying dry? Well, they just prefer it that way.

2 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  1. paran says:

    The image does not look like mildew. Many types of zucchini are supposed to get that white pattern on older leaves. I also got scared the first time I noticed it on my plants. 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Oh, interesting – I will have to look into this more. Do you have any resources that might help me distinguish? All in all, the plants didn’t last – though I did harvest about 5-6 squash from one, and 1-2 from the other. They just gave it up after that, and their stems were split open and a nest for ants….any thoughts?

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