What is Powdery Mildew?
Powdery mildew is quite commonly experienced in veg plots, affecting courgettes, squashes, peas and other crops too.
The leaves start to develop a white/grey powdery coating before they eventually die off. Leaves like the one pictured become a common sight, particularly in pumpkin, squash and courgette plants. It’s nothing to be too concerned about, but as always it’s good to know what’s going on.
The mildew tends to affect older leaves first whilst new leaves continue to grow through perfectly healthily. Normally, the plant continues to produce edible fruits for several weeks afterwards and it is not until mid autumn that it eventually gives up the ghost.
Helping your plants
- Make sure plants have adequate spacing when you plant them out at the start of the season.
- Water early in the day so that the surface of the soil has time to dry out again
- Remove badly affected leaves regularly and allow healthy new growth to come through.
- You could try a milk/water spray (1 part milk to 3 parts water sprayed on the leaves) if you want, but remember that this is very much part of the plants’ natural cycle and will be difficult to prevent.
- When the plant is severely affected, at the end of the season, just pull the plant up and call it a day.