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Easy, Inexpensive Powdery Mildew Spray for Squash & Cucumbers, Prune Leaves to Keep Production Going

hi everyone well I've been hearing a lot of comments on YouTube videos and in the

livestream chat that a lot of you are battling powdery mildew on your squash

and cucumber plants it's a very common disease that creeps into your garden at

this time of the year and today I'm going to show you how to control powdery

mildew in your garden with a very simple spray using ingredients you already have

around your house and we're also going to talk about how to keep the production

of your squash going just by pruning the leaves now in case you don't know what

powdery mildew is not a problem I've got some to show you right here on this

zucchini plant now powdery mildew is a really common disease that can creep

into your garden most commonly affects squash and cucumber plants and usually

it happens when it's very humid when it rains a lot when your plants get wet

stay wet and don't dry off and basically it looks like someone dumped a bottle of

baby powder all over your leaves spreads very easily so it is really important

that you keep it under control before you have to battle it now if you have

powdery mildew in your garden it doesn't necessarily mean that you've done

something wrong it does creep into most Gardens at some point during the growing

season even here in Southern California where it's very dry I almost always get

powdery mildew on my squash here in August so the first thing I'm gonna do

here before we talk about this spray is I'm gonna go ahead and harvest the

zucchini that are in here so we get them all harvested ready for dinner and out

of the way before we spray the plant now I don't know about you guys but the

zucchini always tend to get away from me just a little bit this one looks a

little oversized and makes zucchini lasagna atif so I'm just gonna gently

twist it I think this one is one of those baseball bat sized

and I spotted a couple more down in here oh my goodness

talk about baseball bats I zucchini I thought the last one was big these two

here I'd actually get made into some zucchini bread so try and pick your

zucchini with her a little bit smaller I've got three really nice size ones

here now the next step that we're gonna do is we're gonna prune off the leaves

now I talked about production and pruning squash leaves now one way you

can really keep the production of your squash plants going is to prune off all

the old leaves and of course we're gonna prune off any leaves that have just one

little spot of powdery mildew on it so let's do that first and then we'll talk

about the spray so now what I'm gonna do is prune out all of the leaves that

either have powdery mildew like this one right here or leaves that are just old

and starting to yellow so we want to prune this leaf as close as I can to the

main stem of the plant so I'm gonna snip it right in here and you definitely

don't want that powdery mildew spreading to the rest of the plants so by removing

the powdery mildew affected leaves you're gonna help stop the spread to

this plant and other plants in your garden now you might notice on your

squash zucchini plants even your cucumber plants they usually have some

leaves that are kind of yellowing like this now it doesn't mean there's

anything wrong with the leaf it just means it's one of the older leaves and

you can easily prune it out so that all the energy can go into producing new

squash so now I'm just gonna go ahead and trim up the rest of the plant it's

gonna look so much better you do want to wear gloves because the squash plants

tend to be really pretty but you can see we've trimmed off a ton of branches here

from the zucchini plant and you can imagine instead of the zucchini plants

energy going into keeping powdery mildew and dead leaves alive now it can go into

producing new squash plants so at this point if you've trimmed off a bunch of

plants it's always a good idea to give it a nice dose of a fertilizer that's

high in nitrogen so that brings back some good leafy

growth another little tip here when you're going from plant to plant with

your pruners or your scissors make sure that you're cleaning them with alcohol

and a rag so that you're not spreading powdery mildew from plant to plant okay

you guys ready for the spray here it's super super easy spray all you're gonna

need is some milk which I'm sure everybody has in your refrigerator or

some water now it doesn't really matter if it's whole milk or if it's nonfat

milk it just needs to be milk that has protein in it so what you're gonna need

is eight parts water to one part milk and I'm just gonna pour it here in my

little hand pump sprayer if you don't have one of these you can just use a

regular old spray bottle so let me get my water in here give it a good shake

pump up my hand pump sprayer here now I usually tell you not to spray your

garden in direct sunlight but this is an exception there's something about the

protein in the milk when it mixes with the sunlight that is said to really have

an antibacterial effect on the powdery mildew so you want to spray the bottom

of your plants the tops of your plants until they're dripping wet they're gonna

dry very quickly in the Sun and some people have said they're concerned about

the smell in your garden but I really haven't noticed a big smell from this at

all and in any case the smell is a minor problem to deal with

as opposed to dealing with powdery mildew on your plants so it's definitely

better to spray your plants as a preventative measure to keep it under

control there's really no absolute cure for powdery mildew as far as I know it

does almost always come into your garden at some point during the growing season

you could even spray down at the stem it's not going to hurt the bees and

using it on a regular basis maybe every week to ten days throughout the growing

season to keep it under control and prevent the problem before you have to

battle it the I peer plan is a little bit wilted like - here after pruning

don't worry about it it's perfectly normal

it'll perk up in no time start growing again

and look really nice now if some of your cucumber and squash plants are

completely taken over by powdery mildew I would suggest going ahead and pulling

them out because you don't want that powdery mildew spreading to the rest of

your garden and that's why it's always important to have backup plants going or

to start a fresh new wave of vegetables here in the late summer so that you

never run out of plants to harvest we've actually put together the late summer

garden seed collection especially for this purpose there's seven varieties in

there that are quick growing plants that are going to give you a harvest in about

six to eight weeks so you could pick up one of those on my website and get

yourself some new suits going well let me know if you're having any powdery

mildew issues and your garden right now if you use this milk spray before I know

a lot of you have mentioned that you've used it in the past and had a lot of

success with it thanks so much for watching we'll see on the next video