Yellowing leaves

TithisJuly 25, 2011

The last few days I've noticed some of the leaves on my pumpkins are turning yellow and dying. At first it was just some of the older, smaller leaves near the base of the plant, but now some leaves farther up the stem are yellowing too.

We've had a heatwave the last few days, so they have experience some sun wilt recently. The only fertilization done lately was some urine which I focused on some nearby corn.

What does it sound like to you guys?

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can you post a picture it would be alot of guessing.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 6:51PM
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In my experience too much nitrogen can cause a few pumpkin leaves to turn yellow then die. Especially if the urine hit the leaves it would have spots of death.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 7:54PM
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Here is a picture of the second worse leaf. The worst one is completely yellow and too deep in the patch for me to get a good picture

Here is another that hasn't yellowed as much but does have dead spots.

The holes in the leaves were from cucumber beetles.

Neither of the leaves should have come into direct contact with urine since I poured it around the bases of the corn and make sure it didn't come into contact with the plants directly. The corn and pumpkins are quite close so the pumpkins certainly got a dose of the nitrogen too.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:12PM
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Well, it does look like over-nitrogen to me, but I don't know how potent pee is because I just dont use it so I dont burn anything. It might be some kind of a pest. Maybe somebody else knows more... There aren't white spots on the bottom of the leaves are there? That would be powdery mildew but it would be on top too I think unless you used fungicide but it didnt hit the bottom.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:49PM
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I checked and their doesn't appear to be any white spots on the bottom of the leaves.

Over-nitrogen would be sort of ironic. Giving nitrogen to save my corn at the expense of the health of my pumpkins.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 10:30PM
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It's possible you have Bacterial Wilt, which is transmitted by Cucumber beetles when they eat holes in your leaves.

The virus makes the leaves sag down and then dry up & die.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 1:39AM
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this is bacterial wilt and i dont think thats what is going on. did you dillute your pee or was it full strength? it looks like fertilizer burn and bugs.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:26AM
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It was quite diluted. I poured 32oz at 50% around the base of the plants and then followed up with a thorough watering. Overall it must have been 1-35. It did it twice with a few days between each. The last day I did it was probably a bit over a week ago.

I might just be over reacting, overall I think the patch looks healthy.

(note: the leaves on the bottom left don't have mildew on them, it seems to be the coloration of the leaves themselves)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:26AM
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older leaves do die. but they look healthy. keep us posted.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Now you make me worry a bit. I have probably 20 leaves yellowing and drying up. But I have a huge patch and healthy vines and many male and several female flowers. Would either of these issues you discuss above harm the fruit in the long run?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 4:52PM
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I was just going to point out that your bottom vines are infected with powerdery mildew, but if you're shure it's just a discoloration-

Out of curiosity, can you post a close-up of one of those leaves?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 2:27AM
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The zuchinis I am growing this year have the white spots naturally as well. It is just normal. I have grown 1 or 2 pumpkins that had it as well. I have also heard that if a plant has the oldest leaves turning yellow it could be a sign of not enough either potassium or potash, or something like that. One of the two other ingredients in fertilizer than nitrogen. I have another question. Do you have multiple plants there? The leaves are a third to a quarter the size of my pumpkin vines but you seem to have many more runners than I and I see things like yours all the time but don't know how it happens. I just have a main vine that makes maybe 2 extra vines about a month in growing and then a few months later I get a bunch more but it still doesn't look like yours.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:47AM
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Yeah I have 5 plants. Some other leaves are starting to yellow so I'm still worried. I'm starting to think its some sort of deficiency.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 2:54PM
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I think it's fine. I just google older leaves turning yellow just now and there were alot of articles saying over fertilizing can do it and alot saying its natural (under fertilizing) in which case they are taking the old nutrients back and putting them into new leaves. Either way just don't use the urine unless its really diluted and try laying off the fertilizer a little while then try doing more fertilizer if they lose more leaves.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 6:59PM
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your corn is showing signs of lack of phoshate. that might be the problem with the pumpkins.if your corn leaves have yellowing that runs down the edges of the leaf its lack off phosphate. if the yellowing runs down the center of the leaf its nitrogen(lack of)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 7:03PM
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I, too have heard of old leaves turning yellow from lack of phosphate. You should try any fertilizer that has alot of phosphate in it. Even if phosphate is not the main ingredient it should help.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 2:06PM
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My grandpa has been trying for years to get a descent pumpkin plant this year he seemed to have a good vine going. But this morning he came in and said that the leaves near the base were yellowing, he hasnt added chemical fertilier to it but added "organic horse manure" least thats what he called it. I'm in ohio so we had a nice heat wave but he kept the plant watered... its the first of august, we have no pumkins on the vine yet... is it dying or is it natural for leaves around the base to yellow like this?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 5:27AM
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It's natural. You can check to see if there is powdery mildew on the leaves in which case you should apply some kind of fungicide to the leaves(all of them).

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:10AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Terrybull- I have bacterial wilt. I have seen only 2 stripped cucumber beetles but my leaves on my squash and cucumbers are doing exactly as your photo. How are you treating this? I have asked at the nurseries and am told I can't treat it since it's a bacteria. Sorry about cross-posting.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 2:13PM
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this is not a cure its a preventative and it will slow up the progression.

There are many copper compounds that are used as fungicides. The most common is Bordeaux mix which is a combination of copper sulphate and hydrated lime. It is accepted in organic farming provided that the number of applications is strictly followed and a proper soil amendment is observed to prevent copper accumulation in the soil.
Bordeaux mix sprayMaterials needed to make a gallon mixture
3 1/2 tbsp of copper sulphate
10 tbsp of hydrated lime
1 gallon of water (4 liters of water)
Wooden stick
Plastic bucket
How to prepare?
1.Add copper sulphate and hydrated lime in water. Make sure to use plastic container.
2.Stir well using a wooden sick or ladle.
3.Protect self from direct contact with the solution.
How to use?
1.Spray plants thoroughly preferably early in the morning, in a dry and sunny day. In this way, the plants have the time to dry and the solution can not penetrate into the leaves' tissues
2.Constantly shake the sprayer while in the process of application to prevent the solution from clogging
Pest controlled
1.Flea beetles on tomatoes and potatoes
3.Bacterial blight
4.Bacterial wilt
5.Black spot
6.Downy mildew
7.Late blight on solanaceous crops
8.Powdery mildew
10.and many other disease causing pathogens
Standard procedures for the preparation and application of homemade extracts
1.Read and follow the label instructions carefully. Ask for assistance from your local agriculturist office when using copper for the first time.
2.Monitor plants regularly and spray only when necessary as copper can accumulate into the soil.
3.Spray in the early morning or late afternoon.
4.Use utensils for the extract preparation that are not use for your food preparation and for drinking and cooking water containers. Clean properly all the utensils every time after using them.
5.Do not have a direct contact with the crude extract while in the process of the preparation and during the application.
6.Make sure that you place the extract out of reach of children and house pets while leaving it overnight.
7.Harvest all the mature and ripe fruits before extract application.
8.Always test the extract formulation on a few infected plants first before going into large scale spraying. When adding soap as an emulsifier, use a potash-based one.
9.Wear protective clothing while applying the extract.
10.Wash your hands after handling the extract.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 5:44PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Thanks Terrybull.

I could only find Bodine Copper Dust ("a modern alternative to the Bordeaux mix"). It does not list the ingredients nor could anyone tell me if it already had lime in it. I'm going to search online but I may err on the side of caution and not add lime (also since I didn't find any my first round out)and see what happens.

My new concern is planning for next year. How does bacterial wilt affect the soil for new crops? We have it in both beds and even in some containers. Do you treat the soil in the fall/winter once you've pulled everything out- not turning under any plants?

At one nursery they were pushing Green Cure. Have you heard of it?

Thanks so much. I had sought help locally and was getting no where.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:53AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Here's the Materials Safety Data Sheet for Bonide (note spelling) Copper Dust:

Here's one with a photo of the container. 7% copper sulfate -- which implies there's a carrier of some sort (non-active ingredient). They don't identify that. I have no idea if it could contain lime.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:42PM
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bacterial wilt is spread by cucumber beetle. what i have seen is green cure is for things like,

GreenCure� has been proven effective against powdery mildew, rose black spot, anthracnose, downy mildew and many other plant diseases.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 5:46PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Thanks TB and MTO.

Against my partner in gardening's wishes, I dusted 2 nights ago with Bonide Copper. Next time I will NOT dust as a clogged nozzle has to be better than dust getting everywhere- I used the sock technique.

Tomorrow, I will go through and cut out the infected stems and spray again after a week. But, how safe is it to eat my tomatoes? I picked all the ripe fruit before dusting and have more today, which I don't want to eat for fear of the copper being absorbed systemically. The BF would have rather had let the plants fight it off so we could keep eating the tomatoes until the plant died. At first I agreed until I went back out and saw that the wilt has infected 1/5 of the height of my plants and about 1/4 of my squash plants. Does anyone have a comment to this which will give me ammo in continuing to spray- if it won't affect the fruit?

And, what about the soil for next year? Bacterial wilt affects many plants. Are we doomed for planting in our beds next season?

To the cucumber beetle, should I also spray something specifically for the beetle or choose 1 fertilizer? It seems like a lot to keep spraying plants with different chemicals- organic or not. Or, am I just not used to this idea? Last year we didn't have these problems.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:02PM
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I have been spraying small amounts of copper sulfide on all my vegetables for a while and they all taste great! The weird thing is that one tomato plant's tomatos distinctly taste like barbeque sauce, but it's probably just the fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 2:03AM
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