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Dead stuff

Post  Cuthbert on 6/23/2015, 10:38 pm

I came home from work 2 weeks back to find my squash laying flat out and very wilted.  Looks like a picture I saw of borer damage.  We only got one small squash before this happened.  Sad   The Cantaloupe next to the squash is now showing signs of wilting (yellow leaves, drooping leaves).  Could something else other than the squash borer be attacking?  Any recommendations to deal with this problem other than commercial pesticides?
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Re: Dead stuff

Post  sanderson on 6/24/2015, 2:37 am

You are having high temps and high humidity right now. Do they need more water, more often, maybe shade cloth? My squash, cucumbers and cantaloup are doing so much better in our 100*F+ dry temps, now that they have some muslin sun shades. Every day the leaves were wilted. They kept recovering the following day, but how many days can they get droopy until they fail to recover?? When the weather gets hot-hot here, the spider mites also appear. Neem oil solution works well against quite a few pests. Just do it in the cool of the morning or evening when the bees aren't out.

I hope others from your climate can help you. Can your take photos and post them? They can be helpful in diagnosing a situation.

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Re: Dead stuff

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/25/2015, 2:47 am

My squash plants from previous years did the same thing. They generally seemed to recover, but the type of soil they were in made a huge difference. The ones in better soil and a little bit of shade recovered much more quickly even if they looked completely slammed by the sun at many points over the summer. The ones in poor soil and uninterrupted sun usually recovered from looking severely dehydrated/wilted once watered, but produced very few flowers or fruit and never really looked robust enough to live without daily TLC.

What time of day do you water? Morning is the best time to give the plant time to absorb the water before the heat of the day quickly bears down on them; night can be okay as far as water absorption but wet leaves at night strongly encourages all sorts of diseases and disease processes; when it's hot out is the worst time because rapid water uptake can stress cell walls and stunt growth, as well as leading to a lot of water being lost to evaporation.

Re treatments, some folks swear by home-made garlic and/or pepper sprays. I haven't had enough luck with them, good or bad, to have an opinion on them yet.
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Re: Dead stuff

Post  Cuthbert on 6/27/2015, 4:48 pm

Thanks for the tips.  I started a vigorous watering program in the early morning and the cantaloupe have made an excellent recovery.  Not sure what I'll do next year about the squash.  One thing for sure, we are going to seriously expand our SFG with a larger variety of vegetables.
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