Classes and Lectures, week of June 9 – 15, 2014

Herb Gardening – Extension Gardener Series
Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 6:30 – 8:00pm Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson St.

Enjoy growing these handy and helpful plants. Taught by Master Gardener Marti Warburton. Class is free/registration is required. Sara Smith 919-668-1707


CRAWLIN’ CUCURBITS – Gourds, Pumpkins & Squashes
June 14,  10-11 am, Durham County Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster St.

Early summer is the perfect time to plant cucurbits — the zucchini, squash, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers and gourds that we’ll harvest in late summer and early fall.

Join the Durham Co. Extension Master Gardeners for this FREE 1-hour talk for suggestions on best varieties, when to trellis or not, how to outsmart cucurbit pests and tips so you can cultivate an abundant crop.This FREE program is open to the public; all are welcome to attend. Please pre-register with Pana Jones at the Extension Office by calling 919-560-0525 or send an email to:

Downy Mildew on Cucurbits

downy mildew


Downy mildew is a disease that affects members of the cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers, melons, squash, and watermelons. It is caused by the fungus Pseudoperonospora cubensis. Host specificity is found in P. cubensis, with at least 5 pathotypes (isolates of the fungus that will infect some cucurbits but not others) found in the United States.The fungus must live on a living host plant, so it overwinters in areas that do not have a hard frost. The spores are spread by wind and can travel quite far. The disease thrives in high humidity, and can be found in NC nearly every summer. Downy mildew affects leaves, causing lesions such as those in the photo above. In severe cases, leaves curl upward and die.

downy mildew 2


This can result in reduced yields and sunscalded or misshapen fruits.

To control this disease, plant resistant cultivars in sunny plots with good airflow. Avoid late day irrigation. Follow a spray program if desired. Early detection of the disease is important. Downy mildew outbreaks are tracked and a forecasting system has been developed to help growers time their fungicide applications. The home grower can access this information as well.

For more information and additional photos:

Gourds, Squash, and Pumpkins Class

Sun Jun 9, 2013 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson St Durham, NC 27708

Join Durham Consumer Horticulture Agent, Michelle Wallace, at the Burpee Learning Center in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden to learn all about planting, growing, and managing cucurbits (pumpkins and squash). To register call 919-668-1707 or email