tlx45
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Help! What's wrong with this Zucchini plant?

I have a Zucchini plant in my raised-bed garden. I am a first-time gardener and really don't know what I'm doing! But so far everything has gone great, and the plant has yielded plenty of zucchini. Now, it seems to be dying, with leaves wilting and fewer zucchini. I took a picture of the main part of the plant, it looks to me like there might be ants or some kind of disease, but I don't know what it is or what to do. Can someone help? Thanks!

[img]https://stepaheadtech.com/disease.jpg[/img]

Bobberman
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I had a really nice zuc and the next day its dead. I say about 5 squash bugs near the stems. I am spraying all my zucks stems from now on! Look on the leaves for small black dots . The dots are squash bugs that look like stink bugs so get rid of the eggs! Usually when the squash dies the dots will be all over and ready to hatch and kill the rest of the plants! Stink bugs are different and do not eat squash. The eggs range from black to brown or even redish! They were on my zucs in group of a dozen!
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DoubleDogFarm
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Use the search engine above to look up SVB. Squash Vine Borer.

Eric

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rainbowgardener
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Eric is right, what you have looks like SVB - squash vine borer. If you look closely there will be a hole in the stem, where the borer burrowed in and there will be sawdusty looking stuff around the hole, which is "frass," it's dropping.

And yes, if you type SVB or squash vine borer into the Search the Forum Keyword Box, you will find tons of stuff written here about them. One of the most destructive pests in the garden.

What I was doing this year to fight them, was keeping all the stem buried with a layer of dirt, so the borer couldn't get to them. That actually seemed to work, except that the result was that the squash bugs that Bobber described got them instead:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=267165#267165
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tucker0104
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I have these like crazy in my garden. I get two good weeks of squash and zucchini before they take over. They killed over 30 plants this year. Do you just have to stay on top of taking care of them?

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rainbowgardener
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What you really have to do is prevention. People say that when you see that entrance wound (nicely pictured above), you can slit the stem there, fish the larvae out, seal it up again, and save your plant. But in my experience at that point it may already be too late.

If you see my post above keeping the stem buried actually did work pretty well at protecting it from the vine borers. However, I discovered that squash bugs can really be just about as destructive. I thought leaf suckers wouldn't bother a plant as much, but they carry bacterial wilt. So my zucchini plants still died.

Personally, I just give up on growing zucchini! I will grow things that work better in my garden, including winter squash. If I were going to try again, I think it would be with a combination of burying the stems and row cover, with hand pollination. But it all seems like too much work for a small scale, low maintenance gardener like me.
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nedwina
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rainbowgardener wrote: Personally, I just give up on growing zucchini! I will grow things that work better in my garden, including winter squash. If I were going to try again, I think it would be with a combination of burying the stems and row cover, with hand pollination. But it all seems like too much work for a small scale, low maintenance gardener like me.
Try Tatume, which is a moschata and a very acceptable substitute. Eaten young & green, it tastes just like zuke. Better, IMO. A rampant viner though, it does need some room, but maybe it could be trained up a trellis. Let some go and you get teardrop shaped pumpkins, which are kinda cool. Supposedly edible too, as a storable winter squash, but I've never tried it that way.

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