Zucchini going downhill

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

Something has been going on with my zucchini plant, at first a couple of leaves yellowed and i just thought it was just no big deal--as it has been doing that occasionally ever since planting it. But today i notice that it has really started going downhill fast. Some of the leaf stems have totally rot away from the main stem. and i have noticed beads of juice / sap on the leaf stems. I could not see any signs of insects on the plant, so perhaps it is something bacterial / fungal?

Thumbnail by jmc1987 Thumbnail by jmc1987
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Urgh! jmc, I wished I knew. I am so new to raising the edible garden. I'm don't have any clue. Oh wait, others have talked about borrers, insects that deposit their eggs into the plants and larvae hatch and eat their way out from within the vines.? Hope other experienced gardeners will chime in soon.

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

Looks like squash vine borer damage, they have destroyed most of my squash. I did manage to control the damage but it was nearly too late for much of a crop.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Seedfork, how do we control these pests non-chemically. Is there a way?

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

yeah, is there any way to naturally cure this without having to rip out the plant in an attempt to save the squash plant that is right beside it, because so far my yellow crookneck squash remains unscathed from this attack, and it is sitting just right beside this one.

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

I have read every post discussing this issue, and if there is a way that works non chemically I have not found it. I have not tried all of the methods, but the people who have tried the others did not seem to have much success. I am sure how successful these methods are have a lot to do with what part of the country you are in and how bad the problem is there. Here I have decided it is impossible, but someone could prove me wrong....I wish they would!

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

Watch your yellow crockneck very closely, it is one of their favorites, they devoured mine last year before they ever made a squash, so I planted the straight neck this year, they did a little better last year, and I was able to get a few squash off of them this year. Some people consider BT and Spinosad organic, so check them out and decide how organic you want to be or how hungry you want to be.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

well i have averaged about 3 or so from each vine, so at least they havent been completely unproductive at all. Will have a look at those you mentioned.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

I have managed to save plants doing the surgery route (although these are too far gone) and have plants that re-root themselves vigorously along the stem survive although they were not terribly productive given the stress. Other than that... well supposedly you can see the eggs on the stem if you catch them the right day but they are invisible to me.

I plant C. moshata exclusively now, or at least as of this year I do. These are not immune from SVB, but are not a preferred plant. So the SVB fly off and bother other people's gardens instead, apparently, since I haven't seen a single one this year.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

mom just came to me and said she found something advertised in a book about treatment for them involving a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. But of course you have to buy the book to see "how to do it", lol.

Talihina, OK


Best thing I have found organicly is to plant the trombone zuchinni they never bother it but Blister beetles will

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Insectides orgainic or not dont help much with the SVB bc the larva is in the plant. I've heard of people injecting the stems with BT. This is the first year that I had any luck with squash since I mocked to Tx 20 yrs ago. The only thing I did was put Tulle over the plants like a row cover. It's too late for these plants but you may want to give it another try. I wasn't as vigulent as I should have been with the tulle, I didn't keep it tacked down as the plants grew. So I did lose a couple of plants to the SVBs I did remove them and boy do they smell. All I can say is the tulle works if you use it from the get go. It's cheap and easy to handle. It does have to be removed to allow for pollination. I think you stll have time to grow more. Good luck!

SW, AR(Zone 8a)

jmc’,
As I have noted over the years, July in the South does Spring-planted summer squash in. You might start all over again and really baby it.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks. I suppose if i would have known what to look for, i may have at least saved the majority of the plant, but this was my very first experience with this specific pest, so unfortunately, lesson learned the hard way eh?

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

by the way, what exactly is this "BT" you keep mentioning?

SW, AR(Zone 8a)

I didn’t mention “BT”. I’ve never used it but have read about it.

http://vric.ucdavis.edu/pdf/Pests/pests_BtCaterpillarControl.pdf

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

I have injected my squash stems with Spinosad, much better than using the BT injections. No new frass, those borers must be dead. Really I recommend everyone use the Spinosad injections on borers.

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

I'm a fan of Spinosad for lots of things, but what do you use to do the injecting?

TIA
LAS

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Mix the spinosad according to directions and draw up in a syringe.

I bought syringes at Bulk Syringes-
http://www.bulksyringes.com/

I used Montery Garden Brand Spinosad. Can't remember where I boought mine but here is a place that sells it.
http://1000bulbs.com/product/88958/SUN-704606.html?utm_source=SmartFeedGoogleBase&utm

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

since my zucchini plant has been pronounced a death sentence. I figured i may as well experiment a bit, i clipped off the end of the plant that was still healthy looking, and that the SBV's havent gotten to yet, and have the end a dip in rooting hormone and dropped it into a cup of water to see if it will actually take root, lol. Hey, cant hurt to try seeing as the main plant is doomed anyways, and if it works (although i have my doubts, seeing as i have never even heard of someone trying to root a squash type plant, lol), that would mean i get a brand new free zucchini plant. :)

Thumbnail by jmc1987
Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

You might have done better to just pile dirt over the lower portions of the plant. But let us know, I would think the water would just wash off the rooting harmone.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

this is what i made use of, as opposed to the powdered / liquid types

http://www.poconohydroponics.com/clonex-rooting-compound-gel/

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

The gel sounds great, but it does say to put the plant in the growing medium deep just deep enough to support the plant, I am wondering about putting in it water?

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

i am quite sure that my method is completely unorthodox when it comes to trying to restart a squash from a cutting, lol. as it says nothing about water, just that "if you are unsure about a specific plant, do a test cutting first", which is just what i did :)

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Newyorkrita, does it matter which kind of syringe? I found the bulksyringe site overwhelming.

TIA
LAS

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Ok, you want as fat a needle as possible which I believe there was a 20 gauge. That is what I bought, that is what injections in people are commonly used.

Here it is off my order confirmation-
20 Gauge - 3 CC - 1 1/2" Syringes with Needles
(Package Type: Box of 100)

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

do you have to inject every last leaf stalk, or do you only inject the main stem?

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Just the main stem. You have to look at the plant and use some judgement on this. Look where you have the frass, make sure you get that area but also do the healthy looking area. You never know how many are in there. And the injections mean no splitting of stems to try and get them out. I would inject a leaf stalk if I saw borer frass but I don't think they go to the leaf stalks.

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

that looks like gummy stem blight to me. This is a fungal pathogen. Fungicides like Bravo/Chlorothalonil sprayed preventively on a 7-10 day schedule should help.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

hmm, i have read somewhere that lime has anti fungal properties, i may give my zucchini a good serving of that tomorrow.

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes lime, as well as lime-sulfur, and copper are all organic anti-fungal products. But remember just because something is organic or natural doesnt mean that it is safe or non-toxic. Copper for example is natural but also a heavy metal. It is also extremely toxic.
Lime and or lime sulfur is extremely alkaline and can cause blindness if you get it in your eyes. Both copper and lime sulfer have been used since the mid 1800's in agriculture. They also cause damage to foliage and to the finish on fruits. Thats why most growers only use the products now in dormancy.

Barnesville, GA

I read somewhere an intriguing suggestion that I am now trying out. The claim was that "Momma" squash borer comes by only once in a season to lay her eggs. So, the suggestion was to plant your squash as early in the spring as weather will allow, harvest as many squash as you can before the borers kill the plant. Immediately after pulling out the dead plants, put in more seeds or bedding plants and have more squash later in the summer/fall. My test of this is currently underway. I'll let you know if it works. In the meantime, I'm watching out for squash beetles and other pests that should be much easier to control.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Hummm. Who exactly claims that the moth only visits once? Don't sound reasonable to me.

I do agree with getting plants in early so that they produce before the SVB season comes around. And I also agree that it is a great idea to start seeds for replacement plants. But the SVB moths keep coming around so they visit those replacement plants also.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Perhaps in some climates, the SVB moth only has time for one generation, but that's not the case here in Alabama. There are downsides to having a long growing season.

I agree that as planting early as possible helps with summer squash -- you at least get to harvest for a while before they show up. And my summer squash plants always play out by about this time of year anyway. If I were a bigger fan of squash, I would succession plant just to keep the harvest levels up, but as it is by the time the plants are pooped and hardly producing I'm sick of squash anyway!

I still haven't been visited by SVB this year yet, which is truly odd. (I probably just jinxed myself saying that.)

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Not sick of zucchini and squash here. My neighbors all count on me for squash also as no one veggie gardens but everyone likes fresh veggies.

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

I don't have many issues with SVB. But I do get lots of squash bugs. And if I dont stay on top of them they can wreak havoc. I am seeing their eggs all over on the upper and lower sides of the leaves and only a few adults at this point in time. I have been dousing them with Neem oil. If I don't stay on top of them my zuchini, pumpkins, wintersquash, and summer squash will start wilting.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

drobarr, when you mentioned of "squash bugs". Do you mean Striped or Spotted cucumber bugs ( Diabrotica undecimpunctata)?
Is this the culprit? (photo from my garden). I've noticed these come in two color, reddish orange with dots on the wings, also greenish with black dots on their wings. They're slightly smaller than our lady bugs. But they could easily be mistaken with the "good guys", ladybugs.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

These are the squash bugs I seem to have.
http://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.asp?identification=Squash-Bug

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

Quote from Seedfork :
These are the squash bugs I seem to have.
http://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.asp?identification=Squash-Bug




Those are the ones I have. The one Seedfork shows...Anasa tristis

http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/go/82/

This message was edited Jul 18, 2013 8:21 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Squash bugs are a dark gray and they produce jillions of lighter gray babies. I check my plants every couple of days. Yesterday they looked fine, today not so good I picked a scallop squash and low and behold jillions of squash bugs were everywhere. It's amazing how fast they can kill a plant.

drobarr-thank you for pointing out that organic doesn't mean safer. To me all organic means is that it has a Carbon atom.

Nichole-what type of squash are you growing?

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