White spots on the leaves of my pumpkin plants

"Every year I try to grow pumpkins and every year they start off amazing, then slowly die. This year I have one big pumpkin growing and now all the leaves have white spots and are turning yellow and dying. Can I save this pumpkin? Tracy- Long Island, NY"
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

"Hi Tracy,

Thanks for writing. The white spots you're seeing are probably powdery mildew, a very common disease of pumpkins, squash, and their relatives.

Help keep powdery mildew at bay by making sure the plants are in a spot where there's good air circulation. Train them outward so the leaves aren't all clumped together in one spot.

Also: Avoid getting the foliage wet when you water, if possible. Wet foliage encourages disease.

You may also need to use a fungicide to keep the problem at bay. There are conventional and organic fungicides that work against powdery mildew; look for them at your local garden center or from a reputable online source.

---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com "

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