Are your summer plants developing powdery mildew? If so, come find out the causes of this common disease and how it can be prevented and treated!
Powdery mildew is a fungus that can develop on a number of plants in the garden as late summer approaches. It develops in spots that can eventually cover entire leaves of a plant in its powdery white veil. While powdery mildew (PM) rarely kills its host plant, it does weaken it and can spread easily from one leaf to another, or even from plant to plant.
PM most commonly affects squash, cucumber and strawberry leaves, but can also spread to peas, greens, or any other unlucky plants that happen to be near other infected plants. There are several different species of PM, but they can all be treated and prevented the same way.
Powdery mildew often develops in the late summer. Humid nights followed by dry, hot days create an environment where this fungus can thrive. Overcrowded spaces and poor airflow are also breeding ground for PM. Therefore, the best way to prevent it from developing is to plant your veggies with enough space to provide good airflow between plants. For instance: Grown zucchini plants require 3-5 feet of space, winter squashes should be given plenty of space to trail outside of garden beds, and cucumbers can be trellised to maximize airflow between leaves!
Another great tip to prevent mildew is to use drip irrigation instead of overhead watering, and to water in the morning instead of the evening. This helps prevent PM by minimizing leaf dampness.
If powdery mildew has already affected your garden, here are a few ways you can treat it:
If you’ve tried everything, and still find yourself frustrated with powdery mildew in your garden, reach out to us at StartOrganic and we will help you! Happy Summer planting!