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Cukes and Zukes

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Cukes and Zukes

Post  LtTawnyMadison on 8/2/2012, 9:33 am

I have two questions:

1) Our zucchini looks like a bush, not a vine. It's taking up 4 sf in the garden! Did I get the wrong thing?

2) 4 of our cucumber plants look wonderful. The other 4 look almost dead, though there are still cukes growing on them. Here's a picture - what is wrong with them? http://i41.servimg.com/u/f41/16/61/24/36/wp_00010.jpg
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Re: Cukes and Zukes

Post  littlesapphire on 8/2/2012, 10:44 am

Zucchini is almost always a bush type of squash. It's extremely hard to find a vining summer squash. However, with careful pruning and staking, you can grow zucchini vertically. I have never done it but I plan on trying next year, because I hear you can grow it in one square that way instead of 9 (or four corner squares).

Your cucumber looks like it has a really bad cause of powdery mildew. PM starts out being just annoying, but left unchecked it can cripple the plant and keep it from producing. The best way I have ever found to combat PM is with neem oil, although I've heard that a baking soda mix is a good way of preventing it. I think your cucumbers are beyond saving, but at least you know what to look for with your other cucs. Pull up the diseased cucs and throw them away (don't compost them unless you know for sure the compost will reach at least 150 degrees or you'll spread the PM).
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Re: Cukes and Zukes

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/2/2012, 11:44 am

Julie, what did you learn about how to grow zukes vertically? I need to do that next yr also. Do you cut off leaves or what?

CC
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Re: Cukes and Zukes

Post  littlesapphire on 8/2/2012, 11:51 am

The technique looks pretty simple. Basically, you put a pole in the ground next to the zucchini when you plant it (or plant it next to a trellis, I bet), then as soon as it sets fruit, trim off all the leaves between the ground and the fruit. Do this every time you harvest another fruit. Here's a link with some info and a video.

http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/pruning-zucchini/
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Re: Cukes and Zukes

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/2/2012, 12:15 pm

Wow! Fabulous link, thanks! It gave me itchy arms watching that guy work among all those squash leaves in the vidoe. But what amazing results. Can't wait to try it!

What do you think about cutting off the leaves up to the fruits on our current plants?

CC
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Re: Cukes and Zukes

Post  littlesapphire on 8/2/2012, 1:13 pm

CC, I know what you mean about itchy arms. Zuc are so prickly! I had on rubber gloves yesterday to work on them, and they managed to pierce them and I got stabbed anyway.

As for cutting the leaves, I actually do that with my current zucs. I noticed in the past that the big old leaves are the first ones to get powdery mildew, so I cut them back to kind of help prevent that. Plus, those plants just get unruly if left to sprawl!
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Re: Cukes and Zukes

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/2/2012, 10:49 pm

LtTawneyMadison, Agreed, it does look like powdery mildew, but look closely at the leaves to be sure it's not beset with spider mites. Powdery mildew looks fuzzy, spider mites make a webbed appearance. For the first time ever, I'm battling powdery mildew in my summer squash plants. Been spraying them with: 4 tsp. baking soda to each gallon of water, with a tablespoon of molasses per gallon to help the solution adhere to the leaves. So far, weekly spraying has held the 'deadly dew' in check, though where the mildew has taken hold, the leaf either dies or takes on a spotted effect where the mold had taken hold before spray killed it. BTW, I noticed at the local Ace Hardware that they had a mildew-killing solution available for around $13 a gallon. Nonna

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