Question about Squash and veggies in general

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Fig3825
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Question about Squash and veggies in general

Post by Fig3825 »

I've noticed, since I planted a bit late, that my production has been low in the wake of the higher than 90 F temps we had all through July and into early August. I think the heatwave occurred, based on when I planted, right when my veggies should have been producing.

Presently, now that the temps are hovering in the mid to high 80's, that new fruit is just now coming in on most of my crops.

Specifically, I'm seeing new butternut and summer squash just starting to fruit. However, most of the vegetation on the vines between the fruit and the roots is dying back. Is this normal and is it okay? Which vegetation contributes to the new fruit growth? Is the vegetation (leaves) between the fruit and the end of the vine more important to new growth than the vegetation 'upstream' (between the fruit and the root)?

I see the same thing with my summer squash. Even though summer squash is something of a bushy plant, I still can see that most of the vegetation (leaves) between the new fruit and the roots is dying off while the vegetation (leaves) beyond the fruit are new and green and apparently healthy.

Regarding my snow peas, I'm getting maybe 5 or 6 peas a day in new fruit between the 10-12 plants/vines, this is occurring near the end of the 'vines' while the vegetation closest to the roots is dying and falling off. Same thing with cucumbers and watermelons.

Just wondering if I can cut away most of the dead or dying vegetation along the vines between the fruit and the root.

Rather than research this via 'the google', I figured I would ask here and find out with the experience of the group here...

The basic question is pretty much how the fruit is produced...is it a combination of water and nutrients coming from the ground to fruit combined with whatever the leaves 'downstream' of the fruit contribute to the process? I hope this makes sense....

TZ -OH6
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Post by TZ -OH6 »

Both fruits and growing tips are energy sinks and any extra energy produced by the leaves anyplace on the plant will flow into them just like water draining out of a bathtub with multiple drains.

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Fig3825
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Post by Fig3825 »

So, in general, it's bad that the leaves have started to die off between the roots and the fruits, it seems. Will probably end up with a bunch of stunted butternuts for sure. Bummer. I have one that has grown to about 10" stem to base and it seems to have been frozen at that size for about 2 weeks now.

TZ -OH6
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Post by TZ -OH6 »

Losing leaves is never a good thing but it sems to be very common in my garden. There always seems to be something out there that wants to damage older parts of the plants. If you are lucky the front puts out new leaves faster than they die in back. If you are not lucky it is somethng like squash vine borers that more or less kill the plant.

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jal_ut
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Post by jal_ut »

It is the nature of squash plants to put down roots at every leaf node. They also like to keep growing for as long as there is no frost. I think this is a defense against the dreaded vine borer. If it can keep putting down roots near the growing end, the vine borer won't kill the whole plant.

Yes, often you may have a plant that has a lot of dying leaves. I don't know, much of the time, what causes this. I just let the plant go and if it makes something, that's fine. I have a couple of squash vines in my garden this season that have wilted looking leaves.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

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Fig3825
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Post by Fig3825 »

Hmmmm, since it has grown out of the bed and onto the weed mat I have between beds, perhaps I should consider a slit or two in the weed mat for the plant to drop some new roots. I had no idea that the butternut rooted along the vine.

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jal_ut
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Post by jal_ut »

You may find this interesting reading:

http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrar ... 7ch32.html
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

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Fig3825
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Post by Fig3825 »

I appreciate that, but summer squash and butternut squash seem to be very different plants. While the summer squash is in a chunk of my garden, the butternut vines are nearly 15' long - if not longer. It would be no problem to slit the fabric and allow rooting along the vine. However, the soil outside of the beds is not quite and nice and what I put into the beds. I imagine I could scatter some fertilizer under the fabric through the slits and give it all a nice watering... If I was to slit the fabric at every node where the butternut has sent out tentacles, I'd be slicing the fabric to pieces... I do have one plant that has sent a vine through my perimeter fence. I'm anxious to see if it's going to drop any roots.

Thus far, int he wake of the heatwave we've had up here, I have 1 butternut that has been sitting there at about 10" for a while - like, 3 weeks and another 4 or 5 just popped along various vines and are in differential states of growth, but appear to be doing well. I also had another watermelon and a cantaloupe pop in the past week or so. The weather absolutely put a lot of growing on hold in my garden due to the late replanting I did in the wake of my early season SNAFU with the homemade pesticides...

RyNJ
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Post by RyNJ »

My zukes have been spreading quite a bit and I've been cutting off healthy mature leaves that have been either blocking my walkways or access to fruits for harvesting, seemingly to no ill effect. I leave the growing ends intact, and they're doing awesome. I've been having zucchini for dinner every night since they started fruiting! On the same note, unless they were blown over by the wind and snapped, the leaves haven't been dying of their own accord...but I cut off those dead ones too.

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