Some times in gardening you think you do everything right and stupid powdery mildew comes along and kills half your back garden while you are on vacation and not paying enough attention.
You can either cry, or...
Bring out the reinforcements.
Things were going great.
(famous last words)
It was over crowded, but that usually works for me. Fewer weeds grow because they can't compete with the plant. Right? Usually.
Before my road trip I saw some white stuff on the pumpkin leaves. I just thought - oh well, if the pumpkins die who cares. Then I got home and worked straight for six days. When I got back out there things had exploded. The pumpkins were totally dead and eaten alive by this white mildew. Research quickly showed it to be Powdery Mildew. Stupid mildew. I don't care about the pumpkins but it took half the cantaloupe vines. Dead. Gone. Emma helped me clean it up and she said, "This is like the black plague of plants." Wise words. We pulled out all the dead vines. Then sprayed the live ones to try and save them.
We took all the dead vines to the burn pile and tilled under the open areas. In good news the watermelon varieties I had planted seem to be resistant. Some of the cantaloupes might be saved. The green beans, broccoli and tomatoes in that garden seem healthy. I chalk this up to lesson learned. Good thing the farm stand near by has cantaloupe :)
Josh tilled under all the blank areas.
And the Shorties promptly made foot prints in it.
I have ordered some wheat to fill the spots as a winter cover crop.
I want to try and process it next year, but I'm not going to count those chickens before they hatch.
The pretty green plants are the watermelons that seem to be resistant.
The beans, broccoli, and tomatoes seems to be surviving.
Some of the cantaloupes are hanging on.
This Brandywine Tomato is thriving.
Look at that beast!
It's amazing what animal poop compost can do for a plant.