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Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some splits

Hi, new poster here and new gardener.. I have some Pattypan Squash that is about 16" to 18" tall and I am noticing that while the whole thing is green, luscious and vibrant, the stems are bending over and some of the stalk has splits near the bottom. It's like something is squeezing them, like a runner band or something.

Any ideas?

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Where do you live? You may have a squash vine borer problem. That being said, I find that happens to my squash especially when the leaves are very large. I don't worry to much about it as long as I get squash.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Southern California.. the hot weather is starting to kick in.. the leaves aren't too big, maybe 2 to 3 inches in diameter.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Can you post some pics? Up close ones and some of your plant as a whole?

Our plants get pretty large here in SC. The wind sometimes bends the stalks, but like Imafan, the leaves here are 10-16" across.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Here's a pic of the bottom of the stalk.. you can see the pinching going on..

https://goo.gl/photos/89HPrZyQ5q9fXvQ5A

Here's more of the pinching

https://goo.gl/photos/kxyhnCh9jEWGa9ty6



Directly below the flower in this pic you can see the stem just bent..

https://goo.gl/photos/GnkSfuCYBP67gGa4A

Here's another pic of another stem bent.. it's almost directly in the center of the pic.

https://goo.gl/photos/RHZp8MJXmKbYPYxXA

Here's the whole plant.

https://goo.gl/photos/pHbnaZjLqhJGaYGQ6

If you can't open these let me know and I'll figure out another way to upload them.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

They're bending because they're both lacking in light and in nutritio. The pot is too small.

Healthy squash with plenty of space and sunlight:

Image

That's yellow squash in the front and it's about 6 feet wide. They get HUGE!

They need lots of space, they're heavy feeders, and they need full sun.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Is it lacking nutrients from the soil? I've been using the recommended dose of Superthrive(1/4tspn per gallon) once every other week.. Is that enough?

So I'll repot it into a bigger pot but do they require a ton of water? I've been watering most of my fruits/vegetables every other day..

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Superthrive is a growth stimulator, you need nutrients in the form of npk to fuel the growth. If you use too much superthrive you will force it to grow and it will kill itself trying. You can only use superthrive on plants that are well fed and have room to grow. I only use it once a year on the orchids and I have to make sure they are potted up and fed or I will just kill them instead.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

I bought the squash already potted.. I'll repot it and use the newer soil that I've been using for my newer seeds.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Might want to take it down to just one plant per pot. It would be better if you could get it outside somewhere. They don't take kindly to being transplanted either, so take care!
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Doh! I just transplanted it into a bigger pot, filled it with the new soil and put a decent amount of water in it. Crossing my fingers it doesnt die.

https://goo.gl/photos/W7HUEyNh9YCB8X1J6

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Haha! Still too small. Thing Lowe's 5 gallon paint bucket or bigger. The color is looking a little better. You can bury the stems too. They'll grow roots where the soil touches. Still need more light. They shouldn't be leggy and tall like that without also having some girth to the stems and width to the leaves.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

So the bigger pot I used no longer fits inside my greenhouse. I also noticed that towards the top is another branch that has split.

If I get some fertilizer and just toss a little bit around the inside edge of the pot, think it'll help with these types of situations?

https://goo.gl/photos/He7RSrznZvHspfL76


PS. My zip ties are really loose, they aren't tied at all..

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

I wish ferts fixed everything. There's no substitution for sun, room for roots, and breeze for makin plants strong.

If you gonna stick with the pot, I would at least take the 3 plants down to one. Just snip them off.

They're searching for sun. That's why they keep stretching up and up and up. That makes them fragile.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

I'm guessing I should first snip the cracked/bent stems, and then work my way around from that. I'm familiar with pruning, just haven't done it on this plant yet.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

No....

There are 3 stems coming out of the dirt.

Pick the strongest one.

Cut the other 2 off at the dirt.

Follow the directions in the previous posts in this topic.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

I agree you have to get down to just one plant.

THEREAFTER, another way to work with this container is to bury the branch vines at a leaf node in additional separate pots of same or larger size. This way the plant will set down roots in each pot and be able to obtain nutrients and water from several sources.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

applestar wrote:I agree you have to get down to just one plant.

THEREAFTER, another way to work with this container is to bury the branch vines at a leaf node in additional separate pots of same or larger size. This way the plant will set down roots in each pot and be able to obtain nutrients and water from several sources.

Ooooooooooh! That's an excellent idea!
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

So my plant came like this when I purchased it, and there's actually 4 plants in the same pot. If I pull them out, gently clean some of the dirt to expose the intertwined roots and separate them without completely ruining the root system, you think they'll survive?

I've no doubt i can do it I'm just wondering what type of shock they'll go through trying to separate them.. it's almost like conjoined twins. Separate them in hopes they all survive, or kill all 4 trying. :(

I don't have much room in my tiny back yard but I *could* get a bigger pot, but would a bigger pot be sufficient for these 4 plants?

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

:shock: -wall- nutz:

Bless your heart! In my best southern accent.

You could try it! Wish you the best of luck!

Still needs all day sun.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

In all honesty, squash is known to be sensitive to root disturbance. They are not AT ALL like tomatoes, which are good beginner seed starters. Even experienced Gardener's are hesitant to start squash in containers. But it's necessary to get the head-start where growing season is short or when you want to grow a variety that takes long time to mature. But all of that is for nothing if you disturb the roots too much and cause a set back... Or worst case, kill the seedling. It's a delicate process and see-saw balance of choices.

When they ARE started, whether in cups or directly in ground, multiple seeds are planted where ONE plant is intended to grow. The idea is to CHOOSE the strongest seedling and CULL the rest. Again, because of root disturbance issue, squash seedlings are nipped ar soil level rather than pulled.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

These plants don't grow upwards do they? they like to lay down? I can't keep my Squash upright, it keeps wanting to lay down.. I'm guessing thats good considering once it starts fruiting it'll break the stems..

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

It depends on the variety. Some like to creep along on the ground, some like to bush up. I had a Butterstick squash once that grew 14 feet long! :shock: it produce more squash that I've EVER seen any plant of mine produce! But that's the only yellow squash that I've grown that likes to creep. Butternut likes to get a little creepy here. Most pumpkins like to creep as well.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

So I just noticed that my flowers appear to all be male.. there's like 30 flowers and all look male. Anything I can do to get female flowers?

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Even lady squash need the right mood. ;)

I think you should go back through this post and review some of the tips that were already written. Your plant will love you for it!!!
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

lol nice..

I'm a bit stubborn but I did come here for advice so I'll follow it, you guys are the experts.. It's just so drastic to top and cut back on my poor plants.

EDIT: Ok, so I cut 3 of the 4 plants at the soil and put them in their own pots. They'll grow from the stem like tomatoes, yes?

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Ok, so I cut 3 of the 4 plants at the soil and put them in their own pots. They'll grow from the stem like tomatoes, yes?
Not likely, but you've done the one left a GREAT SERVICE! Yay!
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

What should I do with the male flowers that wither up? seems they just shrivel up.. are they supposed to fall off? what happens with the stem they are attached to?

Should I be cutting these so they don't leech nutrients?

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Well, you could cut them off and stuff them with a mixture of goat cheese, cream cheese, Italian type herbs, and the bread them with an egg wash and flour them and then deep fry them until crispy....

That's a good way to deal with them!

*IF* you get female fruit, you'll need to keep some dude flowers. The ladies need them for fruit formation. And JUST CAUSE there's a teeny tiny squash in the end of that lady flower, doesn't mean it's polinated. If it's not it will rot RIGHT OFF!
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

The squash flowers male or female only open for a day then fall off the next day. So if there are no femal blossoms yet, the males are useless ( :> ) and you might as well eat them. You only eat the petals if not cooking them (Or at least I do -- the stem and base of the blossom are too bristly) -- salads, garnish, omelet. In humid conditions, the spent blossom heads tend to get moldy so I remove them when they fall off. I don't worry about the stems.

I have heard that sometimes opposite can happen, but most of the time in my experience, the cucurbits all start out with male blossoms for about a week to 10 days, then start producing female blossoms.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

ok so I finally got female flowers. Got a few actually.. what's worrying me is that they look to flower and there aren't any flowering males yet!! There are male flowers but none that look like they will flower at the same time.

Can I open one of the large, but green, male flowers and pollinate that way or will that not work?

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

They both must be ready and they are only ready for (part of) one day.

Do you have any other C.pepo squash like zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin? You can use pollen from one of those as long as this is not for saving seeds. (Typically you eat summer squash immature)
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Doh, I don't. I guess that's a good thought though.. growing plants of the same species so that you can do things like what you're suggesting.

I should just drive up to the local nursery and see if they have any flowering males and ask if I can snip one flower off! lol..

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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

IME, the males mature quicker than female flowers. If your female flowers aren't opening today, and you have some large make flowers, the plant will usually up its game, and get those makes ready. It's in its best interest to make it happen!
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

So I'm finally getting some squash growing. Have a couple growing actually. I'm noticing some weirdness with my leaves though.. I think I might have a potassium and manganese deficiency.. thoughts?

https://goo.gl/photos/KdZz5cwLnFHHpSkk7

https://goo.gl/photos/Zfn7brEVYAQEB6pJ8

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Have you noticed whiteflies around?

Silver mottling is normal and genetic. It's sometimes worse when the plants are struggling, but it is normal.

I don't think that this is Silver Mottling, I think this is Silver Leaf, caused by whiteflies.

You also have a touch of powdery mildew.
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Re: Pattypan Squash stems are bending and stalk has some spl

Holy crap, I just googled silverleaf whitefly damage and the first page that I clicked was this, https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef319

This is exactly what is happening. My leaves have all turned a greenish silver color.

I do know that some of my peppers have the white spiral under the leaves which is caused by the whitefly. I've removed all those leaves a few minutes ago.

Now to find an organic insecticide to kill them. My poor patty pan!

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