By Jannie Vaught
We have had a very wet rainy spring and with that comes to some challenges found with deep moisture and humidity. Powdery mildew and root rot are just a few, large leafed plants like gourds, squash, and pumpkins are susceptible to powdery mildew. It is a fungus on the leaves, a powdery grey film shows on the leaves, or a white coating on the leaves and stalks, this can encompass the entire leaf and plant and stalk with yellow leaves and premature leaf drop. It spreads rapidly, treatment as soon as you see it.
A homemade treatment is:
1 tablespoon baking soda,
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and
1 tablespoon blue dish soap mix in 1 gallon of water, or 4 tablespoons baking soda,
2 tablespoon Murphy’s Oil soap to 1-gallon water, or 2 to 3 tablespoon household vinegar to 1-gallon water mix and spray on leaves early in the morning or evening time.
Neem oil also works follow directions and Garden Sulfur sprinkled on the leaves helps.
You are attempting to slow the progress so you get a harvest. If the leaves are yellow and dying clip off and place them in the trash so as not to spread through compost. Root rot due to wet soggy soils. It is a fungus that lives in wet soil with vegetable matter to feed on, mostly you hear of this in house plants that are kept overwatered. It can happen to plants in large planters or pots, such as patio tomatoes. The answer is prevention. When to water? Wait till the soil is drying and not clumping into a ball when squeezed together. If you see the plants failing yellowing or smelly you can re-pot with a sandy dryer potting mix. Clipping off any soft or smelly parts. yes, it is stinky. Watering hints: If your plants are wilted in the heat of the afternoon that is somewhat normal for greens and even tomatoes, I give just a little water at evening. If they haven’t revived by the morning, they need more water. With our heat being high it takes the moisture out of the leaves and stalks. After you get to know your soils and garden you can just tell by looking and touching the soil for the right amount.
Also consider Shade cloth above the plants to keep sunscald off the ripening fruit. Tomatoes and large peppers are prone to this. On to some hardy fun plants to consider for that garden planner. Ground Cherries or Husk cherries are one of my all-time favorites. Ground Cherries are close kin to Tomatillos. A native to the Americas. All the Physalis types grow fruit loosely enclosed in a papery “husk” or Calyx. The Husk should Not be eaten as it can cause tummy trouble. They have abundant large green soft leaves and small yellow to white flowers. They do not need to be trellised but personally I let them run up with my Hop Plants, I have easy picking and weeding.
They have a small yellow fruit inside the husk and are best when they Drop from the plant. Peel back the husk and enjoy this pineapple tasty treat. I grow Aunt Mollys Ground Cherries from Rare Seeds Baker Creek. I save some through the year in the refrigerator and clean and dry for next year. There are recipes for these but I can’t seem to get to the house with any as soon as I see one on the garden soil it is a delightful reward for all my hard work.
Hope you write this plant into next year’s garden plant suggestions.
Growing Green With Jannie