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Pest/mildew problem? But what?

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Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  Miss Erica on Mon May 14, 2012 10:36 pm

So - my two zucchini plants are def having some sort of issue. I am COMPLETELY NEW to this gardening thing - so I don't know if it is one problem or two. I am semi-confident that I have identified one issue as leaf miners. From what I am reading online - it doesn't sound like there is much you can do about them - but they don't hurt the plant TOO badly - so best to just ignore them. Or cut off the leaves that are badly damaged to help control the spread. But what do you do when they are essentially seedlings and only HAVE 4 or 5 leaves? If I cut the leaves off with the damage - there won't be much for photosynthesis.... (click for a bigger pic)


This one just started a couple days ago... Only one one plant so far - but spreading quickly through that plant. My first thought was powdery mildew but the more I look at it - it doesn't seem to be something on the leaf at all - almost looks like the "green" is disappearing from inside the leaf. But not in a random squiggly pattern like on the previous pic - it is following the veins of the leaf. If you look at the leaf on the left edge of the pic - that's a "healthy" leaf on the same plant... major difference. This leaf is completely white - in the space of about 3 days, one is about halfway there, and a third is starting show white veins... (click for a bigger pic)


The plants seem to be doing ok otherwise... new leaves are coming out and I see several flower buds. We are in a very tropical climate - temps range 90-77 with pretty high humidity. The plants probably get 12+ hours of sun on a daily basis.
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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  shannon1 on Tue May 15, 2012 1:56 am

Hi Pic #1 shows the serpentine leafminer, well the tunnels made by them, all I have ever done is remove leaves that are very badly affected and gently squeezed the tunnels of minorly affected leaves between my thumb and finger.

Pic number 2 looks like one of the mildews I would remove affected leaves, and be very careful not to wet leaves when watering. Some people use neem oil but I have not because it can harm bees if they are present.
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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  camprn on Tue May 15, 2012 6:38 am

Hi Erica, when you posted the photo
you chose the thumbnail option and I cannot make the photo any larger
for inspection. Would you post a larger photo?
One thing about
zucchini is that they can get silvery like leaves. Aside from the color
does the plant look healthy? Are there any other discolorations?

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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  walshevak on Tue May 15, 2012 9:17 am

After going crazy trying to see the little pics, I finally read the click for bigger picture and there it was. Embarassed

I can definately see the leaf miner trails. But I'm not sure if the last is PM. I agree with Camprn, some varieties of zukes have a silvery leaf as it matures. Can you brush off any of the white?

Just a thought on the Neem, can you protect the bees by laying a piece of row cover over the plant right after spraying. I believe the bees are not affected once it dries. (somebody correct me if I'm wrong)

Kay

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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  elliephant on Tue May 15, 2012 1:49 pm

The first pic is leafminer damage and needs to be removed so it doesn't spread.

The second one is a natural silver sheen that is quite common. PM will show up first on the underside of the leaf.

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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  Miss Erica on Tue May 15, 2012 6:03 pm

Glad you figured out the "click part..." I was about to repost the full image but I hesitated b/c I know how annoying it is on other boards when you post full-size pics and it screws up all the formatting/fills the entire screen...

I took another pic this morning that shows both the green and silver leaves... The variety is "Golden Zucchini Squash" - the pic on the seed packages doesn't show any silver. What concerns me is that the leaves are starting out bright green and then a spiderweb of silvery veins starts spreading across the leaves. It is not brushing off... the leaf is changing colors...

(click pic to enlarge)

I understand what you are saying about cutting off the leaf miner damage... but these are still pretty small plants - I would be taking off 50%+ of the foliage... won't that cause a problem with the plants growth?


Last edited by Miss Erica on Tue May 15, 2012 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  camprn on Tue May 15, 2012 6:06 pm

@walshevak wrote:After going crazy trying to see the little pics, I finally read the click for bigger picture and there it was. Embarassed

I can definately see the leaf miner trails. But I'm not sure if the last is PM. I agree with Camprn, some varieties of zukes have a silvery leaf as it matures. Can you brush off any of the white?

Just a thought on the Neem, can you protect the bees by laying a piece of row cover over the plant right after spraying. I believe the bees are not affected once it dries. (somebody correct me if I'm wrong)

Kay
cheers i was way undercaffinated when I was looking at it this morning Wink

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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  littlejo on Tue May 15, 2012 6:43 pm

Zucchini is hardy and will grow back it's leaves very quickly. Since they are in pots, I think I'd give them some shade. It may be too hot in a pot and the leaves may be drying out too quickly. Might put some mulch or even newspaper on dirt for mulch. Mine get 'veiny' in the heat of the summer, so I water in the evening when temps are in the 90's, so the plants can utilize the water before the sun cooks it out of them,(I know that most gardeners will tell you to water in the am, so I'm bad!)

Jo
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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  Miss Erica on Tue May 15, 2012 7:06 pm

I can def shift them around a bit. I have been keeping the two pots separated by several feet - just in case it was something "contagious" in the hopes of saving the other one. (Different variety - that one is a Black Beauty) Ironically - b/c of where we are (very close to the equator) - the south side of the house actually gets a decent amount of shade - all I need to do is move them backwards a couple of feet and they will be shaded for most of the day. For my SFG - I put the shade cloth up on the west side of the box and it is working very well.
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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  littlejo on Tue May 15, 2012 7:24 pm

Erica, forgot something. You can post whatever size photo, and the forum re-sizes it for you. And then the clicking makes it full size.

What country are you in?

Jo
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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  Miss Erica on Tue May 15, 2012 7:49 pm

Auto- resize! Good to know. Thanks!

We are in Guam...so TECHNICALLY in the US but it really is its own little world here....which is both good and bad.
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Re: Pest/mildew problem? But what?

Post  givvmistamps on Wed May 16, 2012 12:47 am

Hey Erica,

One of my zucchini plants also gets that silvery veining on it once the leaves get large/mature. This plant is right next to another type of zucchini that doesn't do it, but they're getting the same amount of light, water, etc. It hasn't happened to the entire leaf like yours, but it seems like some varieties just tend to get silver. Giving it more shade might help, but my inclination is to believe that this is just "normal" for some varieties.

IMO the plant looks quite healthy, other than the leaf-miners. I also read that if you squish the tunnels where the leaf miners have been, you might be able to kill the bug inside and save the leaf.

Also, I had to remove a lot of damaged leaves from all my squash recently, due to a hailstorm. The leaves were shredded in the storm, then disease and insects started vigorously attacking them, so they had to go. After only a few days most of the little, newer leaves are now quite large and you can hardly tell I pared them down so much. They've even had quite a few blossoms bloom and now have lots of tiny squash on them; it's only been about ten days since the storm. Very Happy So, don't be afraid to remove the badly damaged leaves.
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