After last week’s very wet weather, downy mildew has appeared on cucumbers in a research plot on the OSU Muck Crops Research Station (Huron County) and on cucumbers and melons in sentinel plots on the OSU CFAES Wooster campus (Wayne County) and the OSU North Central Agricultural Research Station in Fremont (Sandusky County). In addition, downy mildew continues to spread in commercial fields in Seneca County. Downy mildew is likely to be present in cucumbers and/or melons in other northwest and northcentral Ohio counties and growers should protect these crops with appropriate fungicides. Fungicides must be applied preventatively – once plants are infected they will show symptoms within ~5-7 days even if fungicides are applied after infection. Only the fungicide Curzate has moderate “kick-back” activity.
OSU is part of a multi-state cucurbit downy mildew monitoring project, for which this year we have enlisted the help of Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) as Citizen Scientists in counties throughout Ohio. Most (25) are monitoring cucumber and squash plants in their gardens, while six groups of MGVs are managing and monitoring full sentinel plots. We have had no reports of downy mildew on cucurbits outside of northern Ohio and none in squash, pumpkins, gourds, or watermelons in any part of Ohio. We will continue monitoring and reporting downy mildew occurrences as they happen.
If you suspect cucurbit downy mildew on your farm or in your garden, please send pictures (as close-up as you can) of the tops and undersides of affected leaves to me by text (330-466-5249) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include your name and the name of the town or city nearest you.