Mildew on cucurbits
Tackle mildew on your cucumber, marrow, squash and pumpkin crops, with the help of advice in our expert guide.
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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.
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
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.
Use an all-purpose feed rather than one high in nitrogen, which will generate soft new growth that's more prone to infection.