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TheWaterbug
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Sudden Pumpkin Death

So my [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=251618#251618]volunteer pumpkins[/url] were chugging along, all by themselves, and doing pretty well without any care or water.

Then on Sunday I decided to help them out a bit, so I watered them all. 9 out of 10 reacted like this:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/HealthyPumpkin_w.jpg[/img]

That pumpkin looks like it grew a few inches the next day.

But this guy reacted like this:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/SuddenPumpkinDeath_w.jpg[/img]

:(

I've never seen anything like. If I dig it out, am I going to see a big gopher tunnel underneath?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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jal_ut
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Cutworm? I think something clipped its roots.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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How did you water? Is there any chance that the water was hot from sitting in the hose?

mscratch
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sure looks like what a cutworm does for it to be in that shape that fast.

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soil
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Then on Sunday I decided to help them out a bit,
i think this was your downfall. looks like when a gopher clips a plants roots here.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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TheWaterbug
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I don't see any obvious cutworm damage above the soil. Tomorrow I'm going to dig it out and do an autopsy :(

If there's a gopher tunnel underneath I'm going to stomp up and down and use some harsh language. :roll: I may even shake my fist a few times.

I do have a few birds of prey in my area. Is there a way to "trap" a gopher above ground so that it can't dig back down, but so that a bird can swoop down and pick it up? Would that be considered cruel?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Well, I'm pretty sure it was a gopher. I went to look around the base of the plant, and it was gone. The whole base of the plant was gone:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/PumpkinRemains.jpg[/img]

I couldn't even tell where the roots had been.

Then I looked around the garden and saw a drooping sunflower, and its base was submerged in a hole :(

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/MurderedSunflower.jpg[/img]

The bottom of the stem looked pretty grim:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/MurderedSunflowerDetail.jpg[/img]

A few days later I was about 10 yards away, and I heard a "crunching" sound. I turned around and watched some scrub brush being pulled backwards into the earth!

I think I'm going to amend my signature. :x
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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