WiscoGardener
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Help! What happened to my zucchini???

Help! This is only my 2nd season gardening and last year went so smoothly I expected the same this year. I looked closely at my zucchini plant yesterday for the first time in awhile and I was shocked (and devastated) to see this!!

[img]https://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/WiscoGardender/IMG_0620.jpg[/img]

What is it? When I watered the plant, I noticed small black bugs crawling in and around the mess. There were also a bunch of ants. We have tons of ants in our yard and garden but until now they haven't seemed to be a problem. Here's a closer look...

[img]https://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/WiscoGardender/IMG_0623.jpg[/img]

Please, any help would be so greatly appreciated! I haven't gotten nearly enough zucchini for my liking yet, so I am hopeful this can be fixed.

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SPierce
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I could be wrong, but it Looks like a Squash Vine Borer ;(

is your plant starting to wilt?

WiscoGardener
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No it's not wilting. It's still producing, although one side of the plant seems to be producing bigger zucchinis more quickly than the other side. If it is squash vine borer, is there anything I can do at this point?

Moley
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Take a sharp knife, and slice the vine length wise until you find the worm, kill it, bury stem with soil or remove as a worst case.

I lost about 1/2 dozen squash plants this year due to SVB, it happens.

garden5
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Hmm, it makes me think of the squash vine borer as well. Do a forum search for SVB and you will find so much information on it. Here are some pics of [url=https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=588&q=squash+vine+borer+damage&gbv=2&oq=squash+vine+borer+damage&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=308l10800l0l10998l36l35l7l12l13l0l240l2816l1.10.5l16l0]SVB damage[/url]
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WiscoGardener
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Thank you for all your advice! We cut open the vine and (think) we got the worm. Lots of little black & yellow beetles around too - should I be concerned about those? Got a couple more nice zucchinis today but I am afraid that might be all we get for the year as this is the only one we planted. We covered the damaged part of the vine with top soil... fingers crossed! Thanks again!

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah the little beetles are probably cucumber beetles and are leaf eaters.
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Moley
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If the leaves continue to wilt, you may have more than one SVB in there, in one single plant i plucked out 4 large grubs, keep an eye out and good luck.

I've realized I can get all the summer squash I want at the Farmer's market fairly cheap and not have to obsess over my squash plants anymore.

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rainbowgardener
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Moley wrote:
I've realized I can get all the summer squash I want at the Farmer's market fairly cheap and not have to obsess over my squash plants anymore.
Me too... it's just too vulnerable to too many pests, squash bugs, SVB's, powdery mildew. There's lots of other things I can grow and not just have to watch it die after first getting to be a big healthy plant!

On the other hand, hope springs eternal. :) I didn't grow any summer squash this year, but next year I may try again, with the kaolin clay...
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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garden5
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Squash bugs USUALLY aren't a problem for me, but the PM and SVB tend to really cause problems. However, I like fresh zucchini enough to plant it every year and then fight the svb.
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3 Pound Tomato
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[url=https://www.amazon.com/Scanmask-Million-Live-Beneficial-Nematodes-Kills/dp/B000MRD5JO/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=thehelpfulgar-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325]https://www.amazon.com/Scanmask-Million-Live-Beneficial-Nematodes-Kills/dp/B000MRD5JO/[/url]

The same thing happens to mine, and pumpkin vines too. Once I was told to add nematodes to the soil.

Wareagle
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I battled the vine borers recently...

My squash plants were looking fantastic. I checked my plants once a day for anything out of the ordinary. I had already studied up on all the pest that could effect the plants I was growing, as this is my first year growing organic. I knew immediately when I saw the "sawdust" what I was dealing with. Squash Vine Borers. I was super upset. I began going from the base, checking for the critter, to the stems. I found 7 in 5 plants. One was beyond helping and I had to pull it and discard. I hated pulling that one because my wife had named it....Sasquash. Cheesy name but it gave us a good laugh. It's crazy just how quick these jokers work.

Here is what I do to make sure they are no longer killing my plants. First, I cut any stem that had signs of the grub and removed the SVB. I removed many stems completely. I gave the plants a few days to recover from all of the slicing and dicing, and then sprayed them with insecticidal soap. The key? I check them every night with a flashlight. Run your flashlight down the back of the stems and look right through. If I see one, I will stick a toothpick through the stem and leave it. I cut both sides of the toothpick off. They have made a huge turn-around and have amazing flowers and are fruiting as of today. Next year, I will take more steps to prevent it in the first place.

WiscoGardener
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I think the one we killed must have been the only one, because our zucchini is flourishing again. We are continuing to get plenty of nice, healthy zucchinis and no wilted leaves. Thank you all for your advice!

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