We're well under way now with our spring garden and have been enjoying fresh squash, zucchini and cucumbers for a few weeks now. This picture was taken about one month after our first planting. We started the squash and zucchini on the right of the picture first, and the watermelon and cucumbers a week or two later. A few of the squash and zucchini were started from seeds in pete pots, then transplanted to the garden. The rest of the plants were started from seeds, directly in the garden.
It seems that we have had a powdery mildew infection on our squash and zucchini plants every spring for the past 5 years. Since I wrote this article last year about measures to take to prevent powder mildew , we have been powdery mildew free! In reallity we were probably helped out this year by the weather, as well as our preventive measures. We followed most of the guidelines already, but I wanted to share a couple of things that seem to make the biggest difference from my experience.
Here in Florida our sub-tropical (seems to be getting more tropical every year) climate makes a nice environment for many fungal infections. Hot temperatures and high humidity combined with nice green cucurbits like zucchini, squash, pumpkins, and gourds, make a very inviting environment for podwery mildew. The spores travel on the wind, and when they land in such an ideal spot, they try to set up camp. I believe that cucurbits have some natural resistance to fungal infections, but if the fungus gets even a slight advantage, it will win in the end.