Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Tough Year For Squash

Squash used to be easy. Most years I would have all the zucchini and yellow summer squash I could ever want and more. Last year it was the borer wars. This year with the cool cloudy weather early in the summer, the plants just sat there and produced no fruit. Now that the weather is hot and humid powdery mildew is having a field day. When it is a little cooler at night we have fog. I guess it's a little like athlete's foot for plants. If they never get to really dry off, they are doomed.

I'm getting a few squash now, but the plants are obviously struggling. The newest leaves are still green, but the older the leaves are, the whiter they become. This year the squash are planted far from the rest of the garden. I ponder what to do. Today I picked the squash and did nothing. I guess I could try trimming the diseased leaves off of one plant and see what happens. The butternut vine has only a mild case so far. It might be smart to pull up the vines and call squash season over. I can't decide. For today procrastination works for me.


Michelle said...

My squash plants get powdery mildew every year starting in late summer. I hate to see them die early so I use Neem oil. It's an organic treatment derived from the seeds of the Neem tree. I apply it every week or 10 days and it really helps. Some people use a dilute milk spray but I have found Neem to be much more effective.

Anonymous said...

What a shame. I hope you're able to salvage at least a couple of plants. Your garden, as it appears in your header photo, looks beautiful!

Daphne said...

Yeah I usually get powdery mildew around now. Last I was better at spraying so it didn't come until September. I miss having the tons of zucchini I usually do. I have exactly two winter squash that set and one is just a couple inches across. There is no way it will have time to ripen. Sigh. I miss my squash.