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squash/zucchini dying fast

Posted by dionneb NE (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 26, 09 at 19:51

Has anyone had any problems with their squash dying while it is hot and humid and something eating the roots. While they are dying the leaves get all white and there appears to be some kind of a fungus on the leaves and on the ground after they die.
How do I get rid of this and what is causing it? Is it just fungal or are there insects that come out when it is dark that eat the roots. They are dying fast (2-3 days).

They are doing well before and all of a sudden I notice the plants die and the squash and zucchini would not pop out like they did, even though there were several blossoms on each plant. I have lost about 4 or 5 of the plants that I have had so far and no they are not close to each other (except for 2 of the really large plants that I had). I was getting excited after almost two months of constant rain and lots of slugs. Now this, what should I do?


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RE: squash/zucchini dying fast

  • Posted by kwoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 27, 09 at 13:17

Prolly squash vine borer.

Squash Borer Fact Sheet

I use a little collar made of tar paper around the base of the vine when i plant then I kind of wrap the bottom of the vines with permeable landscaping cloth or row cover material when they get bigger.

If you get 'em anyway, which I sometimes do, go after the larvae with a needle or sharp knife and then bury that part of the vine with dirt.

Hope you defeat the little buggers!


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RE: squash/zucchini dying fast

If the leaves look like they are coated with a milky white substance that could be Mosaic Virus which is transmitted to the plant by cuccumber beetles, or it could be powdery mildew. If it's mosaic virus my plants have still done very well while infected, maybe just water them a little more and kill the beetles. If it's powdery mildew you can buy a copper based spray to apply to the plants that should kill the fungus; powdery mildew kills my plants.

If you are planting them in the same spot you did last year there could be larval cucumber beetles eating the roots. I've read about adding some kind of nematode to eat the larvae but I haven't tried it myself. Switch rows year to year and pull out plants at the end of the season.

Both the striped and spotted cucumber beetles are tenacious. I've tried many different methods for controlling them but the only one that sort of works is malathion, and that only SORT OF works. I still see them hanging around on plants that I've sprayed the day before (although I do see a lot of dead bugs which is nice).

This year I tried to plant radishes in the row and all they did was suck up all my plants water and hog the sunlight and they even seemed to attract MORE bugs...

Fortunately zucchini and squash are very fruitful. If I start with 10 plants even if half die I still have enough to make all my friends, family, and neighbors sick of zucchini and squash until next year.


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