adamra1
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Posts: 9
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 6:55 pm
Location: Melbourne, Florida

Zucchini and Squash problem

My first time growing zucchini and squash here in Florida. The plants were growing at an amazing rate and all starting to flower. The zucchini seems to be under developed or oddly shaped with stunted growth on the ends as in these photos. The leaves are turning brown and yellow and have some white moldy discoloration. The flowers have now disappeared altogether. I have noticed some small green caterpillars that are sometimes hangings from thin threads from the leaves. I have used Sevin spray on the plants about 6 weeks after planting. Can these be saved?
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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Zucchini and Squash problem

How HOT is it in Florida now? Your photos look exactly like my squash when temperatures reach 95 degrees here in TN. Combination of heat and very high humidity kills my plants with mold rot and blossom end rot. Squash gets Blossom End Rot give them Pellet Lime to prevent that. Plant new seeds every 3 weeks to keep a supply of squash in the garden all summer.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Zucchini and Squash problem

Gary is right that the bottom picture is a clear case of blossom end rot (BER) in squash. Once an individual squash fruit shows the dark mushy area on the end, it should be removed; it will not develop right. But by itself the BER is not a disease and does not kill the plant. Whether a particular squash fruit is going to show BER or not is determined at the time the fruit is set. BER is a physiological disorder caused by the plant being unable to uptake calcium from the soil. Usually the problem is not a deficiency of calcium in the soil, it is something causing the plant to be unable to absorb it. This can be a number of things including low night time temperatures, unusually cool or hot weather, drought, or wet soil conditions, or especially a lot of wet-dry cycles, when the plant gets dried out and then wet again. If you can fix the problem, the plant should go on to produce healthy fruit.

HOWEVER, that is not the cause of those diseased leaves. The leaves are probably showing a bad case of powdery mildew. Remove all the affected leaves and then treat all the remaining leaves with an anti-fungal, including baking soda solution OR hydrogen peroxide OR diluted milk. But all those things work better preventatively or if you catch it at the very beginning. Yours looks very bad and they may not be able to be saved.

For future reference here is what powdery mildew looks like at the beginning:
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Little greyish or white dots that look kind of dusty/powdery (where the disease gets its name)
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adamra1
Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 6:55 pm
Location: Melbourne, Florida

Re: Zucchini and Squash problem

Thank you, I am going to remove the affected leaves and get some powdery mildew fungus treatment to spray on them and see if they can be saved.

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