There are several different kinds of diseases or fungus' that can kill your garden plants. One of them is powdery mildew. This one is particularly frustrating because it is spread by the air and can be spread through water. This is what can kill off the squash plants half way through the season. It is not entirely possible to totally prevent it however there are measures you can take to keep it from happening early in the season and maybe even stop it from happening all together.
- Just like a home needs to be built on a solid foundation, the plant needs great soil to withstand all that comes it's way. Adding plenty of organic matter every year, and mulching around the plants to keep their roots moist and from drying out too much in between watering. This will help your plant be healthy. A healthy plant will be able to resist disease better than a stressed plant will. Your plant is only as healthy as the soil it grows in.
- Be sure to water it enough- according to its needs. This too is to keep it healthy.
- Powdery Mildew can be spread by water droplets, so watering your plant at the soil level will help the disease to not reach the leaves as easily. Put away the sprinkler and get out the drip hose or better yet get your garden plumed for drip irrigation.
- There are some varieties that are resistant to Powdery Mildew. By choosing those varieties dose not mean they will not get the disease, but they will resist it longer and you can usually get a good harvest from them before it succumbs to the disease.
- Plant in an area that gets good air flow so the the disease is not sitting there circling around the plants and spreading quickly to your whole harvest.
Remember- a healthy plant will produce more and resist disease so do every thing you can to keep them healthy and growing and you will be rewarded with a great harvest.