Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Powdery mildew

You would think, after the vegetable gardening season we have had, that some kind of mercy would be given us…this seems to not be the case.
As I wandered through my garden this morning I was mortified to see the strongly entrenched white spots of powdery mildew already covering some of my plants.
The squash and cucumbers had some spots but the poor peas were covered!
How could this happen so darn quickly? Wasn’t it just two days ago when there was nothing but lush green foliage?
The reason I even noticed it was because on my way to film Garden Time I was driving through a densely forested area in Lake Oswego and saw tons of powdery mildew already covering many of the Maple trees. I had also noticed a bit of it on my Monarda in the gardens, which I just snipped the offending branches off.
The problem with powdery mildew is that it really will not do damage to the plants or vegetables…the produce has set and will ripen…but it is the appearance! I work so hard for a beautiful vegetable garden and it seems overnight this pesky problem invades.
Because I want the garden to look lovely I will spray with Neem oil, which will control the exploding spores from jumping to other leaves (the peas I am going to just pull out, they lost the battle far to quickly) and I will cut off the leaves that I see it on with the squash and cukes.
I must confess though, after a couple more weeks…I won’t even try anymore.
It is and always will be the nature of Northwest vegetable gardens to have powdery mildew. Perhaps a small price to pay for the bounty we can grow here.
But you all should know that this is not the end of your gardens. The produce will be fine and we will all live to garden another day.
So just pull off the offending leaves and spray with something (hopefully organic, like Neem oil, as it is stuff you are going to ingest) and everything will be ok…
Happy Gardening!

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