Powdery Mildew

So as the summer continues, so do our discoveries of pest and disease problems on the farm. Yesterday we discovered that several of our summer squash plants have a fungal disease called powdery mildew. A plant gets this fungal disease when an airborne spore lands on a leaf and germinates into a fungi. Once on a plant the fungi grow root like structures that attach to the leaves and sucks up plant nutrients from the top cells of the plant, weakening the leaf and slowing the growth. In less than a week the fungus releases a million more spores that go on to affect several other neighboring plants with the help of wind, rain, or insects. Powdery mildew is an easy disease to identify because it simply looks like the plants are covered in baby powder. How is this problem solved? Yesterday we pulled and trashed a few of the severely infected plants in hopes that the spreading will stop. Today the other infected squash plants will be receiving a bath of baking soda and water to help prevent the spreading of the disease and hopefully terminate the powdery mildew issue.

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