The Q&A Archives: Powdery Mildew & borava?

Question: I plant pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, and zucchini.
Last year I had powdery mildew on these plants and a small white borava (eats inside the vine) - I can not find diease resistent seeds/plants for this year?

Answer: The best controls for these types of problems are good garden sanitation: remove and destroy all plant debris during the growing season and in the fall, then be sure to rotate your crops so that you do not grow these in the same place for at least three years. You should also avoid overhead watering especially in the evening and do not handle the plants when they are wet. Another good practice is to keep the plants growing as vigorously as possible by maintaining a good rich soil that is evenly moist.

Next, keep a sharp eye out for evidence of borers. (You will see a pile of "sawdust" on the ground near the point of entry.) If you catch them right away, you have a chance of stopping them by splitting open the vine, removing the borer and then burying that section of vine so it has a chance to root. You may also wish to bury a bit of vine here and there so it may root and enable the plant to keep growing despite borer attack.

Finally, your County Extension may be able to suggest varieties which are known to perform best in your area.

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