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I would like to grow squash, and cucumbers again, but every time I do they die after couple of weeks of producing. They get this white powder all over the plant, and dry out, no matter what I do. The vegetables look fine, the leaves look bad. After a while you know I am headed for disaster.
I'm curious about this. I have a meter that tells me that my nutrient solution and my soil around my property is around 6.5 to 7 all the time and usually closest to 7. I wondered if the meter worked so I put it in some vinegar and it registered a 4.
I've been trying to get my blueberry soil to get down to at least a 6 and I've so far only managed a 6.5. But I suddenly have a powdery mildew like stuff on my seedlings in my grow room. I used a solution of neem oil and a little bit of dish soap and sprayed it on everything and it all looks much greener again. Before I did that I could lightly rub it off the leaves. I had thought everything was turning yellow before that and that I was watering too much. So I've stopped watering until it feels really dry. It's actually hard to tell the color under these high pressure sodium lights. Everything looks yellow.
You are confusing me ,Suzi. A pH of 6-7 is ideal for most vegetables. Blueberries need a very acid soil pH 4.5 - 6.5. It is much more difficult to lower pH than to raise it. About all you can do for blueberries in a neutral soil, especially a limestone based soil is to keep adding a soil acidifier. It will not be a one shot deal. The iron-sulphur mixes sold in liquid form at most nurseries work best. But plain old sulphur will work albeit slowly.
None of this should apply to seedlings, a good grow mix should be the proper pH right out of the bag. It is possible that you are watering your seedlings too much and maintaining too high humidity promoting mold and mildew. If so you would have mildew forming on other surfaces.
Well I was only saying that because you said that powdery mildew thrives in an acidic environment. But I know that the seedlings are not in an acidic environment. However, we do have very wet conditions right now because the room flooded and I've been bailing water all week. Most of the seedlings are drying out nicely and I'm waiting to water them. But the humidity right now is just terrible. In fact, just as soon as my mother gets back to watch these kids I'll be spending the day digging a trench in order to give the water a place to go instead of backing up into that room. When this is all over I'm going to have to get a sump pump put in.
Gosh, what a mess you have with your house! My parents had their basement flood one time when they lived up in Illinios--NOT fun! On those blueberries--you can help them out by mulching them with pine straw. It's acidy and will help make your soil more acid as it breaks down. You could also amend your soil with peat when you plant them.
Can I order pine straw through a nursery? I did add peat when I planted them. I'm also trying an experiment. I've been putting all our orange peelings on the ground under them. I've even put a tablespoon of lemon juice in the water when I watered and they seem to be leafing out nicely. I'm not sure my ph meter is really working. Unless I put it into something really acidy, it always seems to register as 7 or extremely close to it no matter where I place it. I keep worms and sometimes the garbage gets really rank. One would think it would be acidic. In fact, I know it is because I get little white worms if I really mess up. It still say's it's around 7. I guess I'm going to have to buy a ph testing kit.
Not sure about where you're at but down here in MS most of our nurserys carry bales of pine straw. Maybe if your nurserys dont have it, they will arrange to get it for you. I always use it around all my azaleas and other acid loving plants and they are all beautiful.
Just a precauationary note. IF you actually have a neutral pH, the soil is most likely buffered with limestone. Pinestraw is slightly acidic and will hold the the acidity in many eastern soils which are naturally acidic. It will not acidify a basic or neutral soil. Get your entension agent to do a soil test. These run 5 -10 dollars and are cheaper and more accurate than test kit. If your soil runs pH 6 or higher, you will have to take more drastic steps like using a soil acidifyer. For blueberries, you need a pH of 4.5- 5.5. Oak leaves are even more acidic and in the absence of pinestraw, make an excellent acidic mulch when ground. But they will not acidify an acid soil by themselves.