My little Cucurbita pepo at 23 days. He is getting close to harvest time, according to Gardenate. Not a bad size for a first pumpkin. Maybe if I add some worm poo to the garden bed, we can do a power run to the end of the month.
But I will wait until the vines wither. I wonder when that will happen, and what triggers it. Is it as easy as a "15-20 week" prediction on a seed packet? We shall see.
We've had minor bouts of powdery mildew. It's sad to see white fuzzy spots suddenly appearing on leaves. But you can understand why this annoying fungus likes to make a home on them - rough and furry fibres, lots of surface area to nest in.
I'm not keen on chemicals in such a small garden. If we were talking about a large scale operation or intense infestation, sure. But for this tiny project, out came the milk.
Yeah, you heard me: milk spray.
I was skeptical. It sounded like a disgusting wives tale, like kissing toads if you want to get warts. But apparently it's a thing (pg. 31, 37), quite likely because:
- milk residue leaves a physical barrier on the surface of the leaf,
- milk alters the pH of the leaf surface, changing the conditions typically ideal for fungal growth, and
- a protein in the milk has a destructive effect on the mildew's reproductive parts.
It's still disgusting and it stinks, especially on a warm day. But only for a while. And the next day, the white spots were still visible, but faded.