Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Genesis Curse

I was reading through Genesis again lately and I am reminded that God cursed the ground twice because of man's sin.  In chapter 1 verse 17 and again chapter 4 verses 11-12.  This curse(s) are still with us today as evidenced by some more diseases I am showcasing here.  One is Powdery Mildew, which has affected our squash plants and Cucumber Bacterial Wilt, which has infected at least one of our cucumber plants.

Powdery Mildew on Zucchini

 I have cut off the most infected leaves in the hopes that the disease will not spread as quickly to the entire plant and did a spray application of a few drops of Neem oil and 7th generation dish soap (to help keep the Neem on the leaves) in water.
Applying Neem on Zucchini infected with PM

After doing some research on the web I found that Powdery Mildew is a fungi that is spread by the wind, insects, and splashing water.  This disease affects many plants, however a different strain of fungus attacks different plant families.  One thing I read about was a water / baking soda mixture that could be sprayed on the leaves, which is more of a preventative measure than an eradicant.  Something I should keep in mind for next year.  As I was wondering about throwing the infected leaves into my compost, I did some preliminary research and found mixed opinions on the safety of using the composted leaves.  I also read that the mildew doesn't always kill the plant, but can severely limit production.

Reading up on Bacterial Wilt, I found that it is spread by the striped or spotted cucumber beetle.  A pest that we definitely found a lot of this year.  This virus infects plants from the curcurbit family (cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkins and gourds) and causes a sticky, oozy substance in the plants which clog the plant's circulatory system so the vines don't receive the water they need.  Once infected, there is not much hope for the plant.
Bacterial Wilt on Cucumber Plant

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