PACKERSFAN
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:34 am
Location: INDIANAPOLIS

SQUASH DIE EVERY YEAR!

HELLO FRIENDS, I AM IN SOME DESPERATE NEED OF ASSISTANCE WITH MY ZUCCHINI AND YELLOW SUMMER SQUASH. EVERY YEAR I PLANT THEM WITH HIGH HOPES THEY WILL MAKE IT, AND EVERY YEAR THEY DIE. (X 3 YRS NOW). THE PLANTS START OUT BEAUTIFULLY, AND GROW TO APPROX. MEDIUM SIZE, THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY START TO YELLOW FROM THE BASE AND YELLOW ALL THE WAY UP AND WILT OVER AND DIE! THIS IS A VERY FAST PROCESS, HAPPENING WITH IN DAYS. I LIVE IN INDIANAPOLIS, GO THE GROUND IS PRETTY HEAVY CLAY--SO EVERY YEAR I FERTILIZE WITH SOME PEET, COW POO, SAND, AND MIRACLE GROW. I HAVE FRIENDS THAT DO ZILCH, AND THEIR PLANTS ARE HUGE AND FRUIT IS OVERWHELMING! HELP!!! I AM ABOUT TO GIVE UP SQUASH FOREVER!

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hendi_alex
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Peat tends to be pretty heavily acid, and clay tends to be acid as well, I think. You may want to check and see if you need to add some lime to sweeten your soil mix a little closer to neutral.

Vine borers are a definite possibility. When sqash get vine borers, the plants will look beautiful and will just suddenly decline and wilt over a few days. You may want to check the crown area and see if it is mushy. Perhaps cut the crown open and look for the fairly large white grup that bores the vines and eventually kills them when the crown is attacked. One effective strategy against vine borers is to cover the young plants with some kind of mesh material to block access to the plants. When the squash get to blooming size, uncover the plants. Even if borers attack them at that point, you will still get several weeks of squash. Also, vine borers have waves of peak activity. By covering the plants you may miss the active period all together.

The last possibility is that the heavy clay soil is holding too much moisture and is causing the roots to rot. If you are planting in a low or dished out area that would increase this likelihood. If water logged soil is the issue, conisder moving the gardening spot or consider constructing some raised beds.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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kimbledawn
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Location: Memphis

I agree about the vine borer. I planted my garden at the end of may and all I heard was that everyone has too may squash si I only planted two squash and two zucks.

Then all of a sudden they started to yellow and die and I didn't know why. They died down to the stem and miraculously came back.

I now know it was the borer because they came back :evil:

when I noticed that some of my leaves begin to yellow I looked for the tell tell sign( yellow sawdust like stuff) on the stem of the plants.

My husband opened the plants and pulled four out of different places on different plants. One of my zucks died completely and I pulled it out.

At the moment my plants are big but wthout flowers. Hopefully they will recover. I hope you find your problem.
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

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rainbowgardener
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squash borers

Yup most definitely squash borers also known as zucchini root borers. Type those phrases into the search box at upper left of most pages and you will find lots written here about them. But basically your plants are most likely a loss. I have basically given up on growing zucchini for the same reason. However, this year I let some of the volunteer squash plants that pop up everywhere I use my compost go. So I have a couple squash plants in flower beds that are doing much better than the one in the veggie garden (which has already done the wilt and die number). We will see if being in spots where squash was never grown before protects them or if the root borers will eventually find them in their new locations....

They say growing the squash under row cover helps keep the root borer adult from laying the eggs in your zucchini stems. But if you do then you have to hand pollinate the flowers. I haven't tried that yet, maybe next year, if the ones in my flowerbeds don't make it this year. Incidentally, they are actually quite handsome in my flowerbeds; I don't mind the look at all, though I'm now having to keep retraining them to keep them from growing out into the lawn.

PACKERSFAN
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:34 am
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THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! SQUASH ROOT BOARER BE GONE!! HA! I WILL DO SOME RESEARCH ON THEM, AND HOPEFULLY GIVE IT ONE MORE TRY IN A NEW LOCATION IN THE GARDEN NEXT YEAR. I APPRECIATE ALL YOUR HELP AND GREAT KNOWLEDGE!



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