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Curcubit Downy Mildew Project

Throughout the spring and summer of 2020, Evan Wilson, agriculture agent for Cabell and Wayne counties, has been participating in a monitoring trial for cucurbit downy mildew (CDM.) For many years, CDM was controlled through resistant cultivars but since 2005, there has been a nearly 40% crop loss throughout the region. Last summer, Wilson was fortunate to partner with several growers in two counties but with the uncertainty of COVID-19 guidelines, this year's plot was planted at the agents' home. Varieties in this years trial include: Butterscotch butternut squash, Halona cantaloupes, pollinizer watermelon, silver slicer cucumbers, table queen acorn squash and thunder kabocha squash. 

As summer progresses, Wilson will update findings and share new information pertaining to CDM.

Seeds started on April 27.
Seed tray  

Seeds began to germinate on May 2.
Seed tray with grow light 

Plants were transplanted on June 2.

With a 60 day maturity, the silver slicers were approaching harvest very quickly.
Young silver slicers      

One of the several varieties of squash.
Kabocha squash plant        

Three cucumbers harvested at 63 days post-planting.
Silver Slicers at harvest 

A young pollenizer Watermelon prior to maturity. Due to excess rain, many watermelons split from the moisture. Watermelon on vine

A Thunder Kabocha squash growing on the vine. These make a nice dessert in the chocolate chip kabocha bars, which the Wayne Office enjoyed this fall.
Kabocha squash

Table Queen Acorn Squash: These grew and produced nice squash in the garden. We are currently waiting to hear back from people that took these home to enjoy.
acorn squash on vine

Just 4 of the 10 cantaloupes harvested. The deer helped themselves to many before I could pick them.
Cantaloupes in seat

40 pounds of Thunder Acorn Squash washed and ready for eating. Once the tough skin was removed, the orange flesh was pleasant roasted with a brown sugar and maple syrup glaze.
Acorn squash in container

If you are interested in participating in future agriculture research trials, please contact us at 304-272-6839.