The best time to water is in the morning but, if you water in the afternoon, allow enough time for foliage to dry out before sunset.
This reduces the risk of mildew and other fungi attacking leaves. Mildew is notorious for attacking zucchini, beans, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, and zinnia.
What to look for:
Infected leaves become covered with a white to gray powdery growth, usually on the upper surface. If left unattended to the plant's leaves will turn brown and drop.
How to combat mildew:
- Spray plants weekly with a solution made from 1 part cow’s milk to 10 parts water.
- Use garlic extracts, which can be made by blending two bulbs of fresh garlic in a quart of water with a few drops of liquid soap. Strained the liquid with a cheesecloth to remove solids and then refrigerated. When you are ready to use it dilute the liquid to 1:10 with water before spraying.
- Mix 1 part of finished compost with 6 parts of water. Let it soak for a week, then strain and dilute with water until it’s the color of tea.
- Neem, Mint or Rosemary oils are great at fungicides. Add 2.5 Tablespoons of oil per gallon of water every 7 to 14 days is recommended.