white powdery mildew?

Asked October 4, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT

my whole garden has this white stuff on the leaves. It happens every year. It has also invaded my Kale patch. Is the Kale still edible? How do I prevent this stuff? I'm not even sure what it is.

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

This seems to be a super bad year for mildew. It is only on the surface of the leaves, so it can be washed off. Even if ingested, it is not harmful to you on the kale. The squashes are dying because it is covering up the chlorophyll of the leaves causing them to dry and die. If you re fighting this every year, you need to look at watering practices (leaves dry at night for most, but not all mildews), air circulation is very important, not overusing nitrogen and full sun. There are many strains of powdery mildew, so there is no one really pat answer. Sorry.