Powdery Mildew on winter squash...Pick them?

rhome410September 11, 2009

Should I go ahead and pick my winter squash now that the leaves and stalks are getting powdery mildew? Will it hurt the squash to leave them a little longer? I think they're about ready anyway... Of course, I have little idea of what I'm talking about, since I'm a relatively inexperienced gardener, but they look about right. We're due for some sunny days, so I could separate them from the plant and leave them so the skins harden/cure. A lot of what I read says they're mature when the skins can't be cut with a fingernail. I am afraid to try that in case they're not really ready and I'll introduce a hole that might prevent them from lasting in storage...?

We're in maritime Western Washington and probably a month (or more?) from frost.

Thanks.

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theonebluegecko(9b)

Don't worry about the powdery mildew hurting your squashes. The winter squashes I have that have come from infected plants have lasted just as long in storage. Although, I would try to fight the powdery mildew because you really want to make sure they are ripe and given a change to grow all they will.

Don't worry about any holes from your fingernail. It will not go deep enough to harm the fruit and should scar over quite fine and should not have an impact on storage.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:10PM
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rhome410

Thanks so much, theonebluegecko! Now back to the posts I found in a search that talk about how to get rid of this stuff... I thought maybe it was so far into the season it wasn't worth it.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:22PM
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