You waited so long to see your squash starting to grow but there is powdery mildew on the plants. Now what? How will you get rid of it so that your squash can thrive naturally?
This is a problem many vegetable growers face, and getting rid of it is more challenging than you might think.
In this guide, you will learn more about powdery mildew on squash and how you can get rid of it without damaging the plants any further.
What Is Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is a type of fungi spores that are transferred by air. The most common way of the plant getting infected is when it rains, and the spores are getting splattered from the ground onto the soil.
It leaves a powdery substance on the leaves of your plant. It might not be dangerous to the squash itself, but it can kill the plant that can cause you to lose your crop.
It affects the plant’s health and growth, ending up killing the plant and preventing any squash from growing and ripening.
Why This Is Something That You Should Get Rid Of
As we mentioned, there is one fundamental reason why you need to get rid of the powdery mildew on your squash plants. Just remember that the powdery mildew can be transferred to other vegetables as well; it doesn’t just affect squash.
If the mildew is left untreated, your squash is going to die.
The mildew is making the plant weaker, preventing it from growing any further and start to cause the plant to go yellow and brown. Before you realize it, your whole crop is brown, dead, and without any actual squash to eat.
Another problem that you need to know is that the mildew can spread from one plant to another. Meaning that you might have just one plant with mildew on now, but the moment when it rains, you will have more plants infected. Especially if you don’t know how to prevent it from spreading.
These are some of the different ways on how you can get rid of powdery mildew on squash.
How To Get Rid Of Powdery Mildew On Squash?
One Thing That You Should Always Do
No matter what method you are going to use, there is one thing that you should always do to get rid of the mildew. You should cut off the affected areas on the plant. This is if there is just a couple of leaves with the powdery mildew on.
Method 1: Approved Organic Fungicides
If you aren’t looking for a natural way of getting rid of the mildew, then you should buy an approved organic fungicide that you can spray onto the plants.
You should mix the fungicide according to the instructions on the bottle and use it bi-weekly to keep the mildew away. Some of the products that you can buy and use safely are:
- Copper-based fungicides
- Green Cure Fungicide
- SERENADE Garden
Method 2: Potassium Bicarbonate Or Baking Soda
Potassium Bicarbonate or baking soda, as we all know it is a great and easy way to kill powdery mildew. The best part is that it can also prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. This is because powdery mildew doesn’t like high PH levels.
And by adding baking soda to your squash plants, you can raise the pH level above 8.3.
You need to mix three tablespoons of baking soda, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and ½ tablespoon of soap with a gallon of water. Spray it on the leaves of the affected plants. This will get rid of the powdery mildew fast.
Method 3: Vinegar
The vinegar has the same results as the baking soda. It is because of the acetic acid in the vinegar that is killing the powdery mildew on contact.
Just one thing to remember is that you need to use apple cider vinegar and not the typical white vinegar that we know and use.
Apple cider vinegar has more acetic acid present than ordinary vinegar.
You need to add three tablespoons of vinegar to one gallon of water. Spray every three days to get the best results.
Method 4: Milk
Studies have shown that milk is the most effective way of getting rid of powdery mildew. Scientists don’t know why milk is such a great way to get rid of the mildew, but it is a proven way of getting rid of mildew on squash and to keep it away for weeks.
There are two ways that you can use the milk on the leaves of your squash to get rid of the mildew.
- The first method is to mix 60 parts water with 40 parts of milk. You need to spray it onto the plants bi-weekly to get the best results. Many believe in using milk without diluting it for even better and faster results.
- The second method is to mix 1oz powdered milk with 2 liters of water. Spray bi-weekly for the best results.
Method 5: Neem Oil
Not something that we all have in our homes, but it’s effective in killing powdery mildew. Neem oil is powerful enough to kill all mildew within 24 hours. It stops pores production that causes killing the mildew instantly.
You can use the neem oil as prevention to powdery mildew to ensure that it won’t return.
Mix three tablespoons of neem oil with one gallon of water. Spray onto the affected plants and repeat every week to two weeks until the mildew is completely gone. Just be careful not to spray the buds and flowers of the squash.
You need to be cautious of the leaves getting sunburned after using neem oil on the leaves.
Preventing Mildew From Spreading
If you don’t want to get any powdery mildew on your plants in the first place, there are a couple of things that you need to do and need to remember.
This is good news to know that there are ways that you can prevent this mildew from growing in the first place. When buying plants or seedlings, you need to make sure that the plants are healthy, without any sign of mildew.
The moment that you find white spots on the plants, you are at risk for getting mildew infestation in your garden.
The second thing that you should do is to plant each plant far away from each other. Far enough so that the mildew can’t infect the other plants.
This means that if you have a plant with powdery mildew, the chance that it will spread to other plants is slim. If you can’t get rid of the mildew, it will mean that you are going to lose only one plant with its squash.
Tips To Remember When It Comes To Powdery Mildew
The more you know about powdery mildew, the easier it will be to get rid of the powdery mildew. Firstly, it is always recommended that you are treating your garden and soil with a powdery mildew killer before you start planting.
You should make sure that the plants you are growing don’t have any signs of powdery mildew.
It is also essential to remember that squash isn’t the only vegetable or plant that can get powdery mildew. There are other plants and vegetable plants that you can lose because of this mildew as well.
This is why you should always plant your different vegetables far from each other. Far enough so that it won’t contaminate each other when you have powdery mildew infestation in your garden.
Even if you have different squash plants, you need to make sure that you are planting them from a safe distance between them. This can save your crop when one plant has this disease.
Prevention is always the best way to get rid of the disease. If you can prevent it from occurring in the first place, you will not struggle to get rid of the mildew each year you are planting squash. This is why you should take the time and prepare the soil correctly before you start growing your vegetables.
Getting rid of powdery mildew on your squash isn’t that hard. You need to know what to get rid of it as soon as possible. The sooner you are getting rid of the mildew, the less damage it will have on your plants.
The good news is that there are different methods on how you can get rid of mildew.
There are natural methods and chemicals that you can use for treating and preventing powdery mildew on squash.
You can use milk, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, or even neem oil to get rid of the powdery mildew on your squash plants.