Friday, April 27, 2007

Help! What's wrong with my squash plants?

Squash Disease!Do any of you know anything about plant diseases? Can you tell me what my poor squash plant has? I knew this gardening thing couldn't just keep being as easy as it was for the first week or two, and indeed, today I came home from work, excited to plant some new seeds I got (little gem lettuce, carrots, spinach, and swiss chard!) and just as I finished planting the seeds I noticed one squash plant looked slightly droopy.

Squash Disease!I looked closer and noticed these gray fuzzy dots, mostly on one of the leaves, but definitely on the others, too. Worse yet, it's my best squash plant -- already two squash are growing on it and over an inch long each! To top it all off, my second-best squash plant has a couple of the same dots on one leaf.

Is this something I can fix? I've searched online for "gray fuzz vegetable" and stuff like that and found references to various molds and fungi and diseases, but nothing sounds exactly like this, and furthermore they all say "destroy the infected plants," which I really would rather not do if I can avoid it!

I'm sure someone that reads this knows more about gardening than I do. Mom? Any ideas?



brian said...

My gardening book talks about downy mildew, which sounds very much like what I'm seeing here, and says various organic sprays will potentially help, but also that physically removing just the infected foliage can work, too, so I've just cut the affected leaves off, and we'll see if that does the trick.

April 27, 2007 9:58 PM  
Kristine said...

You should take these pics to the folks at Great Outdoors. They can probably help you out.

April 28, 2007 10:16 AM  
Jennifer said...

I'm no gardening expert, but perhaps you are overwatering as you try to help get these guys established? At any rate, water from the bottom only (don't wet the leaves) to inhibit mold-o-rama. And definitely get rid of anything that appears infested now (your best squash plant won't be your best when it destroys the rest of your crop, now will it?).

I know it's tough when you grow things from little seedlings and the tendency is to get attached to your babies and want to love each and every one equally and all grow old together, but the fact is when you start this way not everyone will make it to harvest. Life is cruel that way, in the garden as everywhere else. :)

Oh, and when growing stuff you are going to eat, I think organic soil is worth the investment. Save the non-organic stuff for your flower garden.

Overall, everything looks great, good luck!

April 28, 2007 10:22 AM  
Anonymous said...

brian - I'd say its mildew for sure ... and I've got loads of it in my garden cos we've had torrential rain in Sheffield (england) all summer. In addition to reducing watering - if it's something you can control - you want to improve drainage for next time around - so fork in some rotted manure, compost or mulch of any kind which any kind of squash will love - and maybe some sharp grit - if you've got mudsplash this can cause it too so wash any affected leaves cos they will become mildewed.... like yr blog... kate

September 2, 2007 6:28 AM  

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