Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Humidity's rising, Barometer's getting low....

Humidity's rising, Barometer's getting low, According to all sources, The street's the place to go....

Sydney in summer.

A swim at the beach, a drink in a sunny beer garden, a ferry ride on the harbour... and mouldy zucchinis?

Apparently zucchini plants are about as fond of humidity as I am, and in the same way that I become a cranky perspiring frizz ball my poor plants are looking very much the worse for wear.  
This is one of the less damaged leaves

Most of the plant seems to be affected (or infected?)

I think there might be something more than just the fungus going on here as there seem to be bugs on the underside of the leaves

The problem is powdery mildew - and according to my newfound favourite book "What Garden Pest or Disease is That" by Judy McMaugh (thanks to my brother for that gift!) it's pretty common among cucurbits (that's such a funny name.  Covers marrows, squashes, zucchini, cucumbers and I think watermelons and others as well).  I have found a few ideas on how to treat it and also some places tell me it's not fatal for plants - but I beg to differ. From what I have read it seems I should have been more proactive when the spots first arrived, and removed any affected leaves.  I also should have planted them further apart so that there was more air circulation available.  Some good information can be found here at the Sunday Gardener website.  I think perhaps I will give up on the zucchinis for this year, and try again when it's not so hot and sticky.  It's probably not even the right time to grow them, I'm not too sure about when to plant things so I have a habit of just putting in seeds randomly and seeing what happens. I'm still quite proud the plants got so big from just a little seed.


  1. Heres a tip that I learnt about powdery mildew ... don't water the plants in the evening, instead water them mid morning so the plants (leaves etc)have time to dry. If you water them at night the plants stay wet and that creates perfect conditions for the powdery mildew to develop :)

    1. Thanks very much - that probably was part of my problem as I do mostly water my plants at night, I don't seem to be able to get up early enough in the morning to water before work!