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Fighting Downy Mildew

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Downy mildew that infects cucurbits overwinters on growing plants in Florida. Every spring, spores are carried by wind and move upward into neighboring states. Different plants are affected by different strains of this pathogen, and some strains are resistant to traditional fungicides. Only expensive and restricted products can be used to save certain crops and require absolute adherence to s spray schedule. I gave up on cucumbers as a homeowner doesn’t have access to anything that  really works on that downy mildew infestation. With the use of technology, growers can now see where the disease has been reported by checking the  website Downy Mildew Cucurbit Forecast. Working with growers and Extension persons, this maping system documents where air-borne cases of this disease are detected. This early warning system lets growers take more aggressive steps to scout their fields and treat this pathogen if detected. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.