where you looked at one picture and then another picture of the same thing and had to point out what was different or had changed?
That’s what it felt like for me at the community garden this morning. In the past two weeks, a picnic table was installed, trees were planted along the edge of the garden, the surrounding ground was hydro-seeded with grass and a bike rack now graces the entrance. Did I miss anything? Wow.
As I walked around I saw that most of the gardens are producing abundantly. I did notice powdery mildew on squash and cucumbers. If it is in your bed please take care of it promptly as it spreads with the wind and will impact your neighbor’s crop.
Unfortunately, once a plant is infected it is difficult to control. The key is to keep it from happening in the first place by leaving good air flow around the plants and planting varieties that are resistant to the fungi. For a list of resistant varieties go to page 3 of http://www.neon.cornell.edu/training/ppts/McGrathpmnotes.pdf.
What can you do right now?
If your plants are infected:
1 – Thin the leaves to remove those coated with the white powdery fungus.
2 – If you want to try a homemade fungicide recipe add 2 teaspoons baking soda and 3 drops of dish detergent to a quart of water and spray the leaves of the infected plants.
3 – If you have crammed a lot of plants into a small space, thin the plants so they are not overcrowded while also removing infected leaves. Removing leaves helps but remember that plants need leaves for photosynthesis and making sugars and when leaves are removed, the taste of the vegetable can suffer.
Once a plant is infected, most fungicides are not very effective. However, when used ahead of an outbreak of powdery mildew, a fungicide, such as neem oil, can be a useful preventative measure. Check the label for instructions on the rate of application and waiting period before harvesting.