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Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/25/2013, 3:19 pm

@gwennifer wrote:I love this thread - so informative.  Tricia, excellent detective work - what a good gardener you are to take so much time and effort to care for your plants!

Marc, wow what a visual you created there with the earwigs in the flower.  Shocked   This is my first time growing squash and it's been neat seeing how big the flowers are - I can see those would make a nice home.  

That is sweet of you to say gwennifer!  You should see my broccoli!  It looks pathetic and has for awhile.  I keep trying to get it to grow so it can produce but I think I should just yank it all out and start over.  Something has been eating at them, they look too yellow and stunted.  I have had good success in past years but this year hasn't been good.  I also just found one of my pumpkins showing similar signs as the zucchini.  I looked at the stem and the outer layer has been mostly stripped off, similar to the zucchini plant.  I did find some earwigs in the mulch around the pumpkin.  It is just so hard to get in there very well because it is in with the corn and the pumpkin plant is huge.  I put in a little container of Sluggo Plus but I am going to also put in some oil bait traps.

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/25/2013, 4:16 pm

Ksyrium that is one tough zucchini plant you have, great job!  I couldn't have visualized it looking so good! Also welcome to the forum!

JimmyCee your can method sure is working well and it will be one I think will be duplicated on this forum! Thank you for sharing!

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/25/2013, 8:03 pm

Hmm, I went and look at the Sluggo labels today and none of them said they killed earwigs. However, there was no Sluggo PLUS. Maybe that's what the PLUS is -- earwig etc. killer?

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  camprn on 7/25/2013, 9:03 pm

Take care with what you want to kill, why you want to kill it and who the nearby casualties will be beside the target pest. Please read and follow all label directions.

I am not convinced that earwigs are the primary cause of the drooping zuke leaf problem.



http://gardening.about.com/od/insectpestid/qt/Earwigs-in-the-garden.htm

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/25/2013, 10:25 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Hmm, I went and look at the Sluggo labels today and none of them said they killed earwigs.  However, there was no Sluggo PLUS.  Maybe that's what the PLUS is -- earwig etc. killer?

 That is correct.  The PLUS is for the earwigs, etc.  I also heard it is safer for animals.  I wouldn't put it where one could get to it though, just to be on the safe side.  I had a lot of people suggesting it last year but wasn't able to get it til this year.

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  jimmy cee on 7/25/2013, 10:26 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:JimmyCee, that tin can idea looks cool.  It reminds me of reading about people saying to plant your plants in one-gallon containers partially buried in the ground, but with their bottoms cut out.  I think I might experiment with that, especially since you're having good results with an idea that's fairly similar.

It does help with watering, and definitely aids in keeping the crawly critters away

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/25/2013, 10:32 pm

I know last year I was having a big problem with my potato leaves being eaten badly and the plants were suffering.  I finally went out at night, as was suggested, with a flashlight and moved the foliage and found the ground practically swarming with earwigs.  I set up the oil traps and wet rolled up newspapers in that bed and others and outside the beds.  After I had caught quite a bit of earwigs, my potato plants did so much better.  Same thing with other plants where there were an abundance of earwigs.  The traps were good because it showed what I caught.  I did catch an occasional hornet and some ants, but the majority were earwigs.  By the many traps I set last year I figured I caught about 1,000 earwigs.  The pictures I posted were of traps I set later.  In the beginning I didn't use the soy sauce because I didn't know about it yet.  Using Sluggo Plus does not show what has eaten it, unless there is a dead bug right there.

Although I can't say with 100% certainty that the drooping was from the earwigs chewing on the stem of my zucchini plant, there were so many that it sure seemed the probable cause.  When I lifted the stem up, in the hole where the stem met the soil, they were camped out there.  There were at least 10-15 right in the hole where the stem went into the soil.  I was too busy trying to kill them that I wasn't able to count them exactly.

I know last year when I was researching on the internet, what I found made it seem like earwigs were basically harmless.  But I know they went to town on all of my marigolds and killed them.  In my Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening book it lists earwigs with the pests.  "Plants affected:  Clemantises, dahlias, gladioli, and some other plants.  Symptoms and signs:  Irregular, tattered holes in leaves.  Danger period:  Late spring to midfall.  Treatment:  Spray or dust with carbaryl, Diazinon, or malathion."  This book has many floriculture and horticulture specialists, professors, etc. as consultants and advisers and sure seems to be very detailed.

I sure wouldn't use those chemicals nor are they necessary.  Last year we had a mild winter and my next door neighbor also had all her weeds cleared from her property before winter, which I think sent them to all her neighbors.  She told me that the year before she had potted shrubs and a new young tree destroyed by earwigs and did not see many last year after getting rid of her weed yard.  Also last year another of my neighbors noticed their plants having lots more earwigs than usual on and around their plants and their plants dying.  I also noticed last year and this year that anytime I moved a pot, a piece of wood, a garbage can that sat in one spot, etc. that there would be a number of earwigs scurrying away.  Sometimes easily ten or more.  I got to where I would call my chickens over before I moved the item so they could have a feast.

 The site you posted said:  "the amount of damage they do shouldn’t present a major problem in most gardens. In fact, earwigs even eat aphids, snails and slugs and some types of larvae, so it might be a plus that they are there. However, as with all uninvited creatures in a garden, there are times when earwigs can be considered a pest."

 I know I had very few snails and I saw no aphids last year and this year.  I think that there is not enough of their choice of plant material and there are so many earwigs, they may be choosing something else to eat.

I think with anything we have to make an educated guess by the facts we have.  I don't know what else stripped off a lot of the outer part of the stem on that zucchini plant.  I do think the damage may have weakened it to where the stem could not support that many large leaves at this point.  I may be wrong assuming that but it sure seems to be the case.  I know there was an unusual amount of earwigs nesting up against the stem and were hiding in the bark.  I did not see any earwigs next to the stem when I lifted it this morning.  I will though keep an eye on my zuc plants and see if there are any other problems and post what I find.  Something else may show up and give me a different clue.

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/25/2013, 10:34 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:JimmyCee, that tin can idea looks cool.  It reminds me of reading about people saying to plant your plants in one-gallon containers partially buried in the ground, but with their bottoms cut out.  I think I might experiment with that, especially since you're having good results with an idea that's fairly similar.

It does help with watering, and definitely aids in keeping the crawly critters away

 Well you are showing great success with it.  Your plant looks so healthy!

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Re: Zucchini Drooping from the Heat?

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