Saturday, July 26, 2008

Downy Mildew

After all the wet weather we have had, the downy mildew is starting to grow. Right now it is just growing on the dead and dying leaves, but that could change. I decided my primary chore today was to clean the garden to keep it from spreading. I always remove the squash blossoms from the garden after they finish, because they mildew up so quickly, but the leaves are harder to get to. The zucchini was the hardest. Zucchinis have spines and they objected me to removing their lowest leaves. I have some bright red welts all along my left arm now. I fared better yesterday pruning the raspberries. The beans also had some mildew, so I removed all the yellowing and dead leaves. Downy mildew loves wet weather and it is a late disease here in the north. It doesn't overwinter here, but eventually gets blown up here. Usually I first notice it in August and it tends to kill all my cucumbers. I'm hoping the weekly spraying will keep it at bay this year.

The only plant I didn't prune the dying leaves off of was the spring peas. Most of its leaves are yellow and dying except the new branches. There is no sign of mildew on them right now, but I'll keep a close eye on them and rip them up at the first sign. The falls peas are will eventually take their place. The are growing well and look pretty all in a row.

I've been seeing a lot of different insects in the garden. I'm always fascinated by them. With most of them I have no clue as to what they are. If I see a lot of an insect I don't know or suspect it is a pest I'll look it up. Mostly I just gawk at them. Today I found a cicada shell on my bean plant and an assassin bug in my peas. I have some weird leaf hoppers or aphids on my Cosmos. They look like a bit of bark, but the ants love them. They are always there milking them. I just leave them be. They don't seem to be doing too much damage, so I leave them alone.


  1. I hope the mildew stays away from your healthy plants. We've had some rain here too, but mostly it's a dry climate. I've never seen mildew on plants, and i'm glad of it!

  2. We are the perfect climate for downy mildew. It is usually about 80 degrees and very humid and then it rains. So the stuff grows like crazy. Sometimes I really envy the drier parts of the country, then I remember that I rarely have to water.