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Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

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Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  Sara Scantlin on 8/15/2013, 8:42 pm

This is my first garden and most thing are growing well. However, my squash and zucchini plants each produced one item and then began to turn brown and die.  It appears to have begun at the base of the plant.  The pumpkin vine is growing but the base also appears to be dying.  Is there something I should have done early on?  What special care should they receive?  Is there a plant that they should not be planted near? My friends all have very prolific plants and mine are gone.  Any counsel or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  sanderson on 8/15/2013, 9:47 pm

Have you looked closely at the base to see if there is anything present?  Photos would be helpful for someone in the Forum to diagnose the problem.
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Re: Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  landarch on 8/16/2013, 9:48 am

These vines are a pain to grow as I've learned in the community garden this year.  Leaves need to be checked daily for eggs...if found the eggs need to be removed.  The squash bug eats into existing fruit and the borer eats it's way into the base of the stem and kills the entire plant.  There are bee hives in the area so no pesticides are used...just some beneficial bacteria Dipel (a bacterial insecticide)...only on the leaves not near any blooms as you still don't want to hurt the pollinators.

This is why I don't grow them at home...its a lot of work and the plants can wilt and die overnight.  Almost the same with cucumbers and cucumber beetles and cucumber wilt, but at least there's a chance of getting a really good cucumber harvest before the vines go down.
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Re: Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  camprn on 8/16/2013, 10:09 am

My guess, as the other two folks have alluded to, is squash vine borer and/or squash bugs have done in your vines. Vigilant inspection for these pests is required in my garden.

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Re: Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  Sara Scantlin on 8/17/2013, 11:11 am

Thank you all very much! I did find a hollowed out zucchini last week. Will this effect any attempt I may make next year ? Are bees the only organic way to prevent the bores? What early signs should I watch if I try again next year? The plants are pretty far gone now, but if posting pix would still be beneficial I will do that. I cannot thank you all enough!
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Re: Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  yolos on 8/17/2013, 11:56 am

Sara Scantlin wrote:Thank you all very much!  I did find a hollowed out zucchini last week.  Will this effect any attempt I may make next year ?  Are bees the only organic way to prevent the bores?  What early signs should I watch if I try again next year?  The plants are pretty far gone now, but if posting pix would still be beneficial I will do that.  I cannot thank you all enough!  
I think you are mistaken about some of the various posts above.  There are at least three main problems with Zucchini/Squash.

Squash Vine Borer (SVB) - This borer is a caterpiller type insect that bores into the base of the plant and starts eating the plant on the inside.  You can detect whether you have a SVB by looking at the base of the plant to see if there is any fras on the stem.  The fras is a goopy looking substance about like peanut butter but a little paler.  If you find this at or near the base of the plant on a stem, that means you have an infestation of at least one SVB.  Bees will not help with this pest.  Google or check out the search feature on the upper left of this screen to determine how to battle the SVB.

Squash Bugs - unfortunately I don't know much about these so someone else will have to chime in.

Inadequate Pollination - if you have a female squash or zucchini that starts to grow and just stops and withers, that usually means that it was not properly pollinated.  The bees will help with this or you can hand pollinate.
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Re: Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  Sara Scantlin on 8/17/2013, 1:33 pm

Thank you very much for the clarification .
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Re: Death of my Squash & Zucchini plants

Post  floyd1440 on 8/17/2013, 8:13 pm

I just got back home, gone for three weeks, and some plants did not make it.  It has not rained much and my cukes are dead, brown from the base to the top, and I am not sure if it was due to lack of rain or somthing else.

My tomatoes have 2 feet of dead leaves but green and growing so am leaning towards lack of water but my neighbor lost all his cukes too...
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