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Powdery mildew already?

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Powdery mildew already?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/29/2010, 6:07 pm

Somebody please tell me NO.



These are two zucchini plants -- same variety. Could that be powdery mildew, and if so will Neem oil control it? Mine is on order but will be here in a couple of days.

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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  elliephant on 4/29/2010, 6:47 pm

Sure, I'll tell you no.

Now, I'm certainly no expert, but I've googled powdery mildew zucchini plants a time or two, including an image search, because I've had the same question about my plants.

You've got what I've got, which is more of a "silver" mottling on the leaves and from what I understand, that is perfectly natural. Powdery mildew is white, usually starts as round spots, and can be rubbed off.

Also, powdery mildew turns the leaves yellow pretty quickly and kills them. Here's a pic of my bigger plant from last week. You'll see that it is thriving and it has had that silvery look to it for many weeks now.

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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/30/2010, 12:32 pm

Whew! Thanks. I get powdery mildew each year, but usually not until July/ Aug. I just don't remember the leaves going greyish this early.

What is that you have growing in with the zucchini? Looks like a great living mulch.

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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  elliephant on 4/30/2010, 1:26 pm

belfrybat wrote:

What is that you have growing in with the zucchini? Looks like a great living mulch.

Actually, if you look closely in the lower right corner, you'll see some white...that's all that's visible of the 2+ foot square box the squash is planted in...the grey beyond it is the weed fabric wrapped piece of cardboard I sat the box on. The green all around is just what grows wild in our backyard...no idea what it is When we started renting the house last summer there was a drought and nothing was growing in the backyard. Now there's a mess of green, but very little of it is grass, lol. Thank goodness for SFG; our backyard is a piece of work, but my gardens are tidy!

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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  elliephant on 5/1/2010, 11:13 pm


Hope your plants are doing okay, because mine aren't! I'd gotten so used to the silvery look of the plant that I didn't notice the real thing coming on! This morning I noticed PM on my smaller plant (6 weeks behind the bigger one...took me 3 tries to get a seed sprouted in that box) and when I examined the big one more closely I realized it has it too, and bad! It's come on so quickly that from now on I will ALWAYS do a preventative neem oil spray. I got some today and did what I could, but I'm not sure if the big plant will recover. The small one I'm pretty sure will be fine, because it only had a little, but the big one was already starting to yellow...noticed that yesterday and was doing a bit of googling and was going to check more closely today. The silvery mottling makes it much less noticable until I look at the underside of the leaves.

And then I found some on my cucumbers that have been doing so well! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, well, guess this is a learning experience!

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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/2/2010, 11:38 am

Oh Ellie, I'm so sorry. The Neem oil arrived Friday so I think I'll do a light preventative spraying as well. This has been such a crazy year weather-wise that most plants are in shock. 90 one day, a light freeze the next, then back to the 09's. No wonder they are going bonkers. My poor bulbing onions just gave up and sent up seed stalks and the basil is bolting already. Poor babies.

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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  nichole on 7/22/2010, 11:27 am

I'm pretty sure I also have powdery mildew! Is neem oil something organic? Where do you get it or is a catalog only item? Any other solutions? Help!!!!
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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  camprn on 7/22/2010, 11:35 am

Click here for a brief rundown on Powdery Mildew.
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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  jenjehle on 7/22/2010, 10:52 pm

Just yesterday I pulled out all my squash & zucchini plants due to an infestation of PM. The only one I still have left if my Butternut squash plant. The plant has produced a beautiful bn squash and it's still growing; I hate to take the plant out while it's still growing fruit. But the leaves look pretty bad.

I did add some fresh blended compost from my local nursery into each bare area and planted some new zucc seeds. I figured the worse that can happen is I won't get any more fruit by the end of the season. Doesn't hurt to try. They grew SO fast first time I thought I'd try my luck at a second round.

My pickling cuks are covered in various places too with PM. For now, they're still growing and producing. I sprayed all the leaves I could find that were affected with a homemade, organic spray made from water, garlic, dish detergent, and baking soda. Found the recipe in "Jeff Cox's 100 Greatest Garden Ideas" book. Says to spray every two weeks. I may do it a little more often if it gets worse. The trellis's at the back of my boxes are covered with vining pickling cuks and pole beans, all mixed in together. Don't see any way I can remove the cuk plants without destroying the beans. So for now, they all stay.

Never tried Neem Oil. Do you all highly recommend it? Apparently, PM is running crazy in our area; many people noticing it since we've had very little rain lately but very high temps and high humidity.

Best of luck to everyone else!
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Re: Powdery mildew already?

Post  chocolatepop on 7/22/2010, 11:13 pm

Jen, I'm pretty sure us mid/west great lakes folks are gonna get his bad with PM, the wet, humidy, hot, wet, humidy cycle is horrible.

I used neem oil last year, but by that point it was too far. It is better to put on the neem/copper/baking soda as prevention and then repeat to control. Always try to get the underside of leaves also. and remove when you need to and take far away.

It "ate" my cukes and sketti squash last year Sad
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