Ask a Question forum: Powdery mildew on pumpkin vine leaves

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Sep 11, 2016 9:52 AM CST
I believe my pumpkin plants have recently developed powdery mildew. My question is should I be picking these leaves off my vine or because harvest is almost here I should just leave it alone? Also if I were to pick these leaves off the vine are they OK to put in my compost pile or would that spread the mildew into future plantings?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Sep 11, 2016 11:05 AM CST
I have the same problem on zucchini and cucumber. I removed the cucumber plant altogether because it had finished. I might remove the worst leaves on the zucchini but for sure will pull the plants when they are finished. This Extension article says don't compost them:
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Sep 11, 2016 11:41 AM CST
I don't grow pumpkin but I grow zucchini and summer squashes. All in the same family with the same mildew problems. Usually I just leave the mildew as I have found once it starts it progresses very rapidly and no use fighting it. Once it gets too bad and any fruits have been picked, I just pull the plants. I always bag them for the yard waste pickup as I never want to compost squash what with the problems between those mildewy leaves the the Squash Vine Borers.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Sep 11, 2016 11:56 AM CST
I agree with both Sue and Rita; if they start getting mildew earlier in the summer I'll usually spray with a fungicide, but this time of year things are getting pretty close to done here and I just let them go and harvest the pumpkins and squash once they look mature enough.
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