anima_stella
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Zucchini seedlings dying?

So I started my seedlings in a simple peat pellet greenhouse. They grew quickly, and I transplanted them to 3 gallon containers. They got a little tall so I staked them. I water about 3-4 times a week and I'm using a mix of Jiffy Organic vegetable soil and plain potting soil. The first true leaves started to grow and then they turned brown and wilted. I started giving them less light hoping that would reduce the stress. Shortly after, the primary leaves got brown edges and quickly wilted as well. 2 have died. I have inspected for any pests or under the soil damage to the stem but I can't find anything. Any suggestions?

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applestar
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First, a peat pellet is too small to start one those big seeds. by the time a zucchini seeds pushing up it's seed leaves, it would have grown a root that is probably twice as deep as what the pellet puff up to.

The fact that you said you started them in the "greenhouse" -- i.e. With their covers tells me the light source was most likely too far away, that and the fact the you said youn"staked" the seedling before first leaves grew.

Starting large cucurbits in small containers is an iffy proposition to begin with, but it should be done in a 6" deep container IMHO. I would use a 1qt deli or dairy -- yogurt, ricotta, etc -- container with PLENTY of holes.

Cucurbits hate their roots to be constricted or disturbed.
When you planted the pellets with the seedling, did you remove the netting? what did the roots look like? also did you intend to grow them in the 3 gal containers because that would be way too small....

You can't give them enough light or heat. Too much would only happen if you let the leaves touch the light bulbs/tubes, then the leaves will get scorched.

I'm really sorry, I feel like I'm bashing you at every step, and I don't mean to. :wink: It's simply easiest to sow zucchini seeds directly in the ground in the sunniest location you can. :D. They'll sprout and grow quickly once the soil has warmed up. Watch out for SVBs (squash vine borers) and Squash Bugs.

dirtyfingers
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Our zucchinis are planted in the ground and require a lot of water! Some days the leaves look very wilted but as soon as I water them, they'll spring up within minutes! We're going to pick them earlier this year as some were the size of baseball bats last year!

Good luck.

Green Mantis
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:oops: I am so glad to hear, I am not the only one that can't grow zucchini!!!! When our kids were young, and I had a big veggie garden, canned and froze lots of things, and could grow everything "but" zucchini!!!! Have no idea why???? Weird! :?

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rainbowgardener
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I can't grow zucchini, but I know why - zucchini vine borers. Worst plague of my garden. I grow big beautiful zucchini plants, harvest the first few zukes off them and then bam!! the ZVB gets it and it is totally destroyed in a few days. Too painful! This year I'm not growing any...
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Green Mantis
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rainbowgardner.....You're doing better than I did, I never even got them growing at all?? I don't think they liked me! :oops:

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rainbowgardener
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Not knowing anything else about what you did, my first guess might be was it warm enough? Zucchinis are warm weather plants, like their soil nice and warm. I start them on heat mats.
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Bobberman
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Apple is right trans planting and distrubiing the roots is a no no! Even when you pick them cut them off because twisting them sometimes kills the plant! I noticed one year that wood chips and zuccs don't mix! Peat pots may have the same effect taking all the nitrogen!! You should plant them I would say within a week or 10 days after they break the soil in a small container because the roots will be too bunched up! Thats my 2 cents!
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