Neither one are from me. Sorry.
First, check out this post about pumpkin growing. I *cannot* believe the difference.
Second, while looking for information on vine borers, I found a great tip about warding off downy mildew. It seems that spraying the leaves of the plants with a dilute kelp seaweed solution will keep downy mildew away. So far, it has worked for me and I'm thrilled, as I lost all my summer squash plants last year to downy mildew. I do have some leaves that have it and I'm spraying them to see if it will actually get rid of it, too. Stay tuned!