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Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

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Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  colormekale on 9/1/2014, 3:29 pm


So I am new to SFG and gardening in general.  My partner and I put together Mel's Mix just as the book showed us and have had a wonderful summer until recently.  I am not sure if I am over watering but I think I might be. We live in Washington State and it has been pretty dry here so no usual rain this summer. And it has been fairly warm this summer. With temps usually staying in the high 70's or even warmer. (which is warm for WA) Anyways, the other day my plants looked like I left them one day too long in the sun without watering. It had been about 4 days. So I gave them a nice dose of water. I went on vacation for 4 days and when I came back I found my squash looking like this. The brown part is completely squishy and was not even laying on the ground. It had been doing fairly good until the last time I watered, which was more than usual. Also The leaves have some dark spots on them and a couple of the stems started to get soggy feeling at the ends. Also, some of the little squashes had completely died, stem and all. My peppers seemed to be doing fine earlier this summer but as soon as they started to develop a flower, the whole flower and the stem died. It turned completely brown. Is this a sign of over watering? I usually water every 3 days on my squash and peppers. Here are some pics. I really appreciate the help as I hope I am not going to kill all my new fall crops lol.
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Here's another pic of the stem and flower dying

Post  colormekale on 9/1/2014, 3:33 pm

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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  boffer on 9/1/2014, 3:55 pm

Welcome to the forum.  It was a good year to be a gardener in the PNW!

Your  squashes look like they didn't get pollinated.

The leaf looks like some of mine.  I attribute it to normal end of season dying-off, possibly accelerated by PM.  I dispose of any leaves with a white powdery dust on them in the trash, rather than the compost pile.

It sounds like your peppers didn't get pollinated. High nitrogen, too much wind, and temps outside the optimal range can hinder pollination. I don't know if excess water can hinder pollination, but if your plants look healthy otherwise, I don't think watering every three days in the heat that we've had, is too much.
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  jimmy cee on 9/1/2014, 4:07 pm

I'll agree with that un pollinated comment.
I recently read pollination is a continuous process.
All these years I thought a plant only had to have a pollinator visit...uh uhhh.
It's a continuous process....
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  sanderson on 9/1/2014, 4:21 pm

Colormekale,  Welcome to the SFG Forum!  glad you\'re here  I think the Forum is a great place to get help or reassurance with gardening situations.

It looks little the flower of the little fruit didn't didn't get pollinated, or pollinated enough to survive.  If you don't have bees or other pollinators, a small hair paint brush is a wonderful thing.  There are good Youtube videos on using hair paint brushes for pollinating various veggie flowers.  You didn't mention if you have been getting any well, or sufficiently well, pollinated fruit to harvest.  ??

The dying male flower stems dry up once they aren't needed to support the flower. Just snip them off and toss in the garbage.

About the leaves, the older ones can get really ugly.  Again, cut them off and toss. NEVER cut off a leaf stem that supports a growing fruit. Once the fruit is harvested, the leaf can be removed. I don't know if there is a disease, but a spray of 1 part milk and 9 parts water on the top and bottom of the leaves can control (not eliminate) powdery mildew.


Last edited by sanderson on 9/1/2014, 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add)
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  colormekale on 9/1/2014, 4:48 pm

Thank you all so much! We have a ton of bees where I live. Lots of insects, butterflies and unwanted insects as well. I never even knew I was suppose to help pollinate. I thought it just happened lol. So I will watch some Youtube videos today. 

Is there way to tell what is a male and what is a female flower? There are no flowers at all now on my yellow squash just on my zucchini plant. Those flowers are all a beautiful yellow color. I had some GIANT yellow squash at the beginning of the season. But then this week everything just died. That is what I found so odd. Plus, all my leaves have the brown spots on them.
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/1/2014, 5:21 pm

 NEVER cut off a leaf stem that supports a growing fruit. 


Sanderson, why?


(oh geez...now what have I done...all my typing has a tan background..  It's all boffers fault...golly gee whiz:wah:I can't get these emoticons off...)
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  yolos on 9/1/2014, 5:53 pm

One of our members, Pollinator, has a good website that discusses the various levels of pollination of squash.

http://gardensouth.org/2011/06/15/evaluating-squash-pollination/
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  boffer on 9/1/2014, 6:39 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:(oh geez...now what have I done...all my typing has a tan background..  It's all boffers fault...golly gee whiz:wah:I can't get these emoticons off...)



I give up!



Here's what you should do with your tablet:





nanana

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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  boffer on 9/1/2014, 6:47 pm

@colormekale wrote:...I had some GIANT yellow squash at the beginning of the season. But then this week everything just died. That is what I found so odd. Plus, all my leaves have the brown spots on them.

My yellow squashes are dying off, as are a few winter squashes.  They have spots like yours, and so do our Holly Hocks and Silver Maple, Chestnut, and Walnut trees. 'Tis the season.
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2014, 1:22 am

@CapeCoddess wrote: NEVER cut off a leaf stem that supports a growing fruit. 
Sanderson, why?
 That's what all the articles I have read stated!  Very Happy The articles were about training squashes to grow vertically and they show the leaf directly below the fruit as "providing life support" for the growing fruit.
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Re: Squash and peppers keep dying! Help!

Post  sanderson on 9/2/2014, 1:35 am

@colormekale wrote:
Is there way to tell what is a male and what is a female flower?  
The female flower has a little fruit at it's base.   Just Google or Bing "male and female squash flower pictures"

The same for watermelon, cantaloupes, and cucumbers.  I also had to ask! Embarassed
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