How does your garden grow?

I'm on a voyage of discovery in my first garden.
It's mostly about the veggies at the moment but I'm also discovering lots about flowers and other plants - quite often the hard way and always on a very tight budget.
But this blog is not just about my garden, it's about all the things I see and discover in Sussex and beyond and I would love to hear from you too.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Pumpkin problems: powdery mildew

I've just got home from a week away to find my only Jack-o-lantern pumpkin plant riddled with leaf mould.
I've read that it happens when the atmosphere is moist but the ground is dry.
I had noticed it getting bad before I left and had been reluctant to remove any leaves in case I hindered its growth... I now very much regret not doing that.
The mould has spread to all the leaves and stems and the only fruit on the plant appears to have stopped growing.
My trusty Hessayon book told me to spray the plant with sulphur but all I could imagine was scraping the ends off endless boxes of matches and I wasn't really sure I liked that idea.
Another website suggested concocting a baking soda solution with liquid soap and spraying it on the plants.
Without any baking soda to hand, I decided instead to give the leaves a wash with a very weak soap and water solution as an interim measure.
I waited until the sun had moved around so as not to scald the plants and gently rubbed each leaf with the soapy water until all the white had gone. Unfortunately, it was only the moisture from the water which turned the leaves green again - as soon as they were dry, the white came back.
My efforts were wasted.
I've just added baking soda to the shopping list...

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