Tag Archives: fungus

Powdery Mildew Strikes Again

We have had a very cooler and wet spring and the powdery mildew is back with a vengeance.

A day before our last good rain, I sprayed all of my crops with a mixture of Garrett Juice (2 tbsp per gallon), neem oil (almost 2 tbsp per gallon), and a tablespoon per gallon of ocean minerals.  After wards, the leaves had a nice rich green shine to them and the powdery mildew could not be seen.  I suspect that it was just hidden under the glossy finish.  After a few more days of very light sprinkles, enough to wash the spray off, I can again see spots of powdery mildew all over.

I had a small pump bottle of copper fungicide, so I sprayed the most affected leaves.  Tomorrow when I go to town I will look for a concentrated bottle of copper and I plan to add that to my spray mixture of Garrett Juice, neem and ocean minerals.

Neem oil can treat fungus, mites and insects, with varying efficacy.

It starts with just a few small spots here and there.

powdery mildew on squash plants

Then it spreads.

powdery mildew on squash closeup

Another squash leaf.  Different varieties of summer squash and zucchini have differing tolerances and immunity to the powdery mildew.   Winter squash and gourds seem to have the strongest resistance, except for spagetti squash.

powdery mildew on squash plants

I cut out the leaves that are totally wiped out by the mildew.  They are light yellow, covered with the white mess and dry and stiff.  The powdery mildew if a parasite fungus that taps into the leaves and feeds off of the squash leaves.


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The Cantaloupe Story – From Eager Beginnings to Sad Early Finish

After an impressive showing by volunteer cantaloupe (that were surely hybrid) last year, I bought 2 types of hybrid cantaloupe melons from Twilley Seed.

Primo cantaloupe is a typical orange meat, beige netted skin melon.  It was supposed to be tolerant of powdery mildew – but that is not what I experienced this season.  The other melon I planted was Galia Passport.  These melons were supposed to look similar to cantaloupe and fully netted.  My experience, however, was that they grew mis-shapened with mostly smooth outside skin with an occasional raised netted vein in the skin.  None of them survived to harvest looking well enough to bother trying to eat, so I didn’t get to see their supposed green inside.  (That is a volunteer watermelon that you see growing in the melons – I harvested 2 edible soccer ball sized melons.)

cantaloupe planting
By mid-June, this is what the cantaloupe patch looked like:

cantaloupe planting mid june

By the end of June, the cantaloupe patch was still looking good – the leaves are nice and green and standing up proudly:

cantaloupe planting end june

Disease is starting – after an unusually damp week – the leaves are getting splotchy:

cantaloupe patch - disease is setting in

We got a few cantaloupe harvested – these couple had a soft end.  After I cut off the rotted section, the rest of the melon was surprisingly good.

cantaloupe - harvest
No saving seeds this season – this is all hybrid!

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