Powdery Mildew on Summer Squash and other plants

Growing your own garden is a great feeling. Nothing better than eating fresh picked tomatoes or cucumbers. But with warmer days and nights, rain and high humidity powdery mildew typically arrives in your garden and takes hold on your beautiful vegetable plant leaves. This fungus looks like small white powdery dots all over the leaves and will grow in size to cover the whole leaf, a little bit if someone took baby powder and dusted your plants with it.

Best way to prevent this kid of fungus is to plant your plants in full sun with good air circulation, but sometimes even the best prevention can fail.

So what to do if you have this fungus on your plants? On our farm we are using two different non chemical methods to keep our plants healthy.

As soon as we spot the fungus on one of our plants we mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda½ teaspoon of liquid soap1 gallon of water.

Do not store unused mixture. This recipes really effective in our garden, but it can burn the leaves of some plants. Water your infected plants well a couple of days before applying this mixture, and do not apply it in full sun. Best to try on a small area first, to test the plant’s response before spraying the entire plant.

Another successful method to get rid of the mildew is a milk/water mixture. Best worked for us to use 70% water to 30% milk. It does not matter if the milk you use is skim or whole because it is the protein rather than the milk fat that is working on your behalf.

With both methods make sure to soak both sides of the leaf and spray surrounding plants even if they don't have any signs of the fungus yet. Mildew will spread fast. We soak our plants for 3 days and after 1 time a week to keep the fungus away.

If you have leaves that are already yellow, cut them off BUT do not throw them into your compost, this fungus will survive in and come back the following year.

Hope you enjoy gardening as much as we do and your plants will grow healthy for you!

plant with powdery mildew fungus before spraying with baking soda-dish soap-water mix for 3 days

leave after spraying for 3 days

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