Curcurbit mildew

Mildew on cucurbits

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Time to act
Time to act

Do Time to act in January

Do Time to act in February

Do not Time to act in March

Do not Time to act in April

Do not Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do Time to act in July

Do Time to act in August

Do Time to act in September

Do Time to act in October

Do Time to act in November

Do Time to act in December

The white powdery coating on a curcubit’s leaves is made up of spreading fungal spores. This affects the plant’s performance, with growth, flowering and fruiting all being adversely affected. In extreme cases, the mildew can lead to dieback and even kill a plant. Since there are separate fungal species that affect different plants, an attack on your curcubits won’t lead to a garden epidemic. Powdery mildew and powdery mildew on roses are similar problems, with similar solutions.

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Symptoms

The first sign of mildew is a white powdery coating on the leaves that, if left, leads to a distorted, stunted plant, an inedible crop and even dieback.

Find it on

marrows, courgettes, pumpkins, squash

Organic

Healthy plants are less susceptible, so make sure they are well spaced and have good air circulation around them. Mulch the area to lock moisture in the ground and give plants a regular drink. The moment mildew is seen, immediately prune out and destroy the affected leaves.

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Chemical

Use an all-purpose feed rather than one high in nitrogen, which will generate soft new growth that’s more prone to infection.