Powdery mildew is a disease that usually inflicts curcubits - like pumpkin, zukes etc, and sometimes tomatoes... I know that both EM bugs and milk/ water mix work and yellow ladybirds eat it so are also good. I have read that a bicarb soda recipe also works but haven't tried it yet. Often it is made worse by watering of the leaves which increases the humidity, and it is recommended to water the roots only and early in the morning or late in the afternoon - unfortunately the rain isn't quite so accommodating! Another thing is to ensure that plants are well ventilated and have enough room so that the micro climate isn't so humid (I am so bad at this personally, whenever I look at my gardens it is either feast or famine... one day I will get the spacing right - but it hasn't happened yet!) This is one of the main reasons I am trying different veggies to see what grows better as an alternative to ones that are constantly affected by our hot humid summers and suffer from a number of problems. An alternative to zukes is the angled luffa which doesn't seem to be affected but can be used in the same way when cooking. As far as I know it is spread by aphids and other sap sucking pests and could even be wind borne... One question I have is can I compost the affected leaves or should I throw them in the bin and why?

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  • Great topic, i think thanks to all the rain, i now have mildew on me zuks and pumpkin. Have to get out there moro and cut the bad ones off. and help the rest with milk (run out of EM)
    • I agree - the rain has reactivated the mildew bugs in my zuc plants. Yestr, I was cutting off the affected leaves, and (sob) broke off half the plant - with buds and baby zuks... Can't decide whether to pull the rest of the plant out, or wait to see if it will grow again...
      • That's dreadful! It is starting to get a bit hot and humid, I will be giving up on zukes for now and focus on luffa for the rest of summer I think...
        • I was hoping i'd have some good zuke seeds but my big zukes are all full of stinky zuke soup - blerg
          • That's what happend to mine too... but maybe coz the bottom was already split from too much rain... can the seeds still be saved? I grabbed a small handful out with rubber gloves before I chuck it...
            • If the fruit is mature enough ... zukes grow to be *huge* as in 1 to 2 feet long and anything up to 6 inches in diameter with a tough skin almost like a pumpkin shell. The seeds need to be a good size and fat, check the size against the ones you have in your seed packet. If they are close in size, give it a whirl. Or just give it a whirl anyway, what have you got to lose? :-)
              • Hello all, just about to start planting after a big break from gardening. I only went to one gardening event (at Scarlett's) so some of you may remember us. Sorry to blow in and out. As for zucchini's we also had problems with sooty mould years ago to the extent that we thought they were ungrowable. Nice to see this discussion. But what are luffas? I would be keen on growing them if they are a good subsitute.
            • Depends on if it was mature enough... wouldn't be ideal as resulting plants might be sickly - but if that is the only seeds you have then better than none IMO...
          • I thought the same with a yellow one awhile ago - blerg is right!
            • Sounds like the cure for blossom end rot doesn't work in hot weather :-(. I've got one Rondo de Nice looking OK in with the sweet potatoes in a raised bed. The plant is only to the male flower stage so there's a way to go to see whether any mature zukes can be grown. Makes you wonder what the commercial growers spray on them to get them to market - and where they are grown.
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