Friday, July 30, 2010

Fungi is no Fun at All.

So - thank you to everyone who suggested spraying milk on the leaves of my plants months ago. Had I taken prompt action I might not be here right now telling you that my plants are covered in powdery mildew and I'm having to hack off leaf after leaf after leaf.

My two early and huge crops - zucchini and cucumber - aren't looking as green as they should. In fact they aren't even looking green at all. They are all splotchy, powdery and white.

Powdery mildew is an airborne fungus that doesn't require constant dampness to form. In fact the heat helps it to spread. Once it is on the plant it spreads fast.

Research online gives me the following causes:
1. Overcrowding - Guilty as charged.
2. Watering from overhead - Guilty again.
3. Hot sun - I can't take the blame on this one, but it's there.
4. Humidity - Check.
6. Letting it go too long once I noticed it - Double check.

Solutions
1. Cut off severely affected leaves.
2. Spray weekly with a 50/50 milk and water solution.
3. Treat early instead of waiting like I did.

Word is that I can still eat the veggies - if the plants still continue to produce. I can't help but wonder if this isn't partially the cause of the shrivel sticks I've been occasionally picking.

If anyone has any additional advice for me - please send it my way. I'd hate to lose all these plants.

I really kind of love them :)


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