Zucchini and Yellow Squash Nightmares!!!
Okay, so this was my first vegetable garden, and I just pulled out the last of my zucchini and yellow squash plants (I originally had eight of each). From eight zucchini plants, I probably got a total of six zucchinis. I got a few more yellow squash, but that's it. At first the plants were healthy and beautiful looking, and they got bigger and bigger. Then came the blossoms, and a few fruit, and then BUGS! There were cucumber beetles, leaf-footed plant bugs, squash bugs and beetles. And tons of them. Tons. They were laying eggs faster than I could scrape and squish.
Gradually the plants began dying.
I asked a friend who's a farmer, and she said that it was probably the soil--that my plants weren't healthy enough to resist the insects because they weren't getting the nutrients they needed. I fertilized with a fish-seaweed emulsion, and a couple plants did get better, but only enough to produce one or two more fruits.
Finally, it was all too depressing to look at, so I ripped the plants out. Most of them seemed like they were barely in the ground, like the roots were either dead or above the surface--is this another problem entirely? Or is this just because the plants were so unhealthy?
Any suggestions on how to avoid this debacle next year? I'm now scared of squash and zucchini.