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What's wrong with my zucchini

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What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  Beachmom on 7/31/2016, 6:26 pm






Hi, I am a newbie.   My attempt at a regular garden was  a failure so I started reading about SFG.  I put together a 4 x 4 box and filled it with MM around the 1st of July.  I knew it was late but planned to use it for a fall garden.  I did buy one zucchini plant and transplanted it in the SFG.  The older leaves are turning yellow and dying.  New leaves are growing and look healthy.  Is this a normal progression?  I know it's only been about a month but there are no blooms.   
Thanks for any help.  I am really discouraged with gardening.   My total harvest so far has been 3 full small tomatoes, one cherry tomato and a few basil leaves.

Thanks for your help.   I have enjoyed reading the posts on this forum.  I have been stalking awhile.
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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  sanderson on 7/31/2016, 6:38 pm

Hi, Beachmom, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here My take, based on the photos, is that there is a lot of wood pieces in the Mel's Mix that may be tying up the nitrogen as they break down. What 5 or so composts did you use to make the MM? Also, the leaves seem kind of pale, but that could just be the lighting when you took the photo. My original batch of MM had wood pieces because I didn't use quality composts, so if that is your problem, you are not alone! Embarassed

Others, your take?? As the older leaves of my squash plants die off, I wouldn't know natural death from some disease. Embarassed

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What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  Beachmom on 7/31/2016, 8:56 pm

For the compost I used Black Kow, mushroom compost,  something called nature's place compost that didn't really specify a source and my own compost.   The previous owners of our house left a composter behind.  It is a huge white barrel.  It has some great compost in it and I've been adding material to it.  The only problem seems to be that it is really hard to dig out the actual compost from the bottom of this barrel.  There isn't a trap door or anything.  You have to shovel from the top and there is no room to maneuver the shovel handle.  

If it's normal for the older leaves to die off maybe I am worried over nothing.   We've had the over 100 F heatwave this week so anything would be stressed.   

I hadn't really notice the wood chips until you mentioned it.   

Should I add some of my own compost or the Black Kow to the squares before I plant fall crops?   I was planning to plant lettuce, snap peas, snow peas, and Kale next week.
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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  sanderson on 7/31/2016, 9:10 pm

Beachmom wrote:For the compost I used Black Kow, mushroom compost,  something called nature's place compost that didn't really specify a source and my own compost.
What do you include in your compost piles?  
The previous owners of our house left a composter behind.  It is a huge white barrel.  It has some great compost in it and I've been adding material to it.
Once compost is finished, don't add more to it or you are basically starting a new pile.

Should I add some of my own compost or the Black Kow to the squares before I plant fall crops?   I was planning to plant lettuce, snap peas, snow peas, and Kale next week.
I hope some other folks join in. Yes, the Black Kow. Can you find Ecoscrapes Compost at your local Home Depot or veggie-based compost from Whole Foods (reasonable priced!)?Kelp Meal, crab meal, liquid kelp, Espoma line of organic fertilizer?

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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/31/2016, 9:49 pm

Hi Beachmom. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! Glad you've finally "officially" joined us!

It's not unusual for older leaves to turn yellow & die...

I agree that there's a lot of wood chips there. I would add some blood meal perhaps... Just a little!
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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/1/2016, 4:38 pm

glad you\'re here Beachmom!

Sounds like heat stress, but could be SVB.  Also, they are heavy feeders.

Beachmom wrote:  The previous owners of our house left a composter behind.  It is a huge white barrel.  It has some great compost in it and I've been adding material to it.  The only problem seems to be that it is really hard to dig out the actual compost from the bottom of this barrel.  There isn't a trap door or anything.  You have to shovel from the top and there is no room to maneuver the shovel handle.  

Can you tip the barrel over and get the compost out that way?

CC
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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  camprn on 8/2/2016, 9:03 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:glad you\'re here Beachmom!

Sounds like heat stress, but could be SVB.  Also, they are heavy feeders.

Beachmom wrote:  The previous owners of our house left a composter behind.  It is a huge white barrel.  It has some great compost in it and I've been adding material to it.  The only problem seems to be that it is really hard to dig out the actual compost from the bottom of this barrel.  There isn't a trap door or anything.  You have to shovel from the top and there is no room to maneuver the shovel handle.  

Can you tip the barrel over and get the compost out that way?

CC
SVB symptom is a total collapse of the plant in a matter of hours, with no recovery as the heat subsides.

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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  walshevak on 8/3/2016, 7:01 am

Beachmom

Welcome to the forum.  I'm also am in Wilmington about halfway down Carolina Beach Rd between Monkey Junction and Carolina Beach.  In the sand dunes.  Where are you?  And I just wanted to let you know you can get everything you need for SFG at Farmers Supply on Oleander down near Dawson St.

I took a course through the extension service at the Arboretum last year and one of the speakers was talking about the perfect soup of heat, humidity, bugs and disease this area is plagued with. He said it is a miracle we can grow anything.  And yet we do. We just have to adjust  Early spring and fall/winter are much better times for us. We have a pretty long growing season and with a plastic hoop house can even grow some things through the winter.  Collards, chard and kale come to mind immediately. I plant my peas in late Feb. 

So everything that has been mentioned is not only a possibility but a probability.  I have lost all but one of my squash plants and cukes to SVB, pickle worms, and mildew in spite of spraying and putting aluminum foil around the stems.  I just replanted squash and cuke seed a few days ago and you can too.  I think it is still too early to plant the other things on you list.  Wait until Labor Day.

The tomatoes are doing so so, the ones with afternoon shade doing the best.  My sweet potatoes are growing great but it is too late to plant them now.  Garlic can be planted in Nov and harvested in June in time to plant squash, cukes and beans in the garlic bed.  

Kay

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What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  Beachmom on 8/17/2016, 3:41 pm

Kay, 
   We are neighbors which is pretty amazing for a national forum.   I live off College Road at Pine Valley off from the 17th St Extension/Waltmoor intersection. 
 

    Thanks for the Farmers Market tip.   It would be great if they had some other compost varieties.   I had planned to try another 4 x 4 foot bed in the spring, but my husband will not let me continue to throw money into this project when we don't get anything to eat out of it.  

     Update:  The zucchini died.  I found a slit in the stem but when a opened it up I did not see any larvae so I am still not sure what killed the zucchini but I pulled it out and threw the plant away. 

    I just read where you said it was too early still for fall gardening, so I guess I've messed up again.  On August 1 I planted snap peas, snow peas, swiss chard, lettuce and kale.   The peas are up and look great.  The kale never germinated.  3 of 4 chard plants came up and 2 of the 4 lettuce plants
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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  ralitaco on 8/17/2016, 9:46 pm

Beachmom,
Welcome to the forum from Hampstead!!!

You and Kay are not alone in this area with plant issues. My zucchini and yellow squash were killed off by a combination of heat and SVB. My cukes did really great until those darn pickle worms decided to introduce themselves. I have treated the plants with several things to no avail. Last week I went with some Sevin dust...I have 1 cuke about 10" long now without any worm holes.

Farmers Supply carries the coarse vermiculite whereas most other places carry the medium. They also sell worm castings from Organic Underworld which is based out of Atkinson, I believe.

Finding 5 quality composts in this area has been tough. that is why I have tried my hand at making my own this year. I don't know how to tell if it is any good or not but...

I am also trying to figure out what to plant and when for the fall since I have never done a fall crop.
I stumbled on this website today: National Gardening Assoc and they have their planting calendar.

So it looks like we can plant a bunch of veggie seeds or transplants. One of the great things about the SFG method when planting with seeds is that you use so few of them that if they fail, it's not a big deal.

Good luck and keep us posted.
BTW, we love garden pictures...hint, hint, hint
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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/18/2016, 1:21 pm

Beachmom wrote:
    I just read where you said it was too early still for fall gardening, so I guess I've messed up again.  On August 1 I planted snap peas, snow peas, swiss chard, lettuce and kale.   The peas are up and look great.  The kale never germinated.  3 of 4 chard plants came up and 2 of the 4 lettuce plants

Can you cover the peas and lettuces with something to shade them? They may carry on with shade. My lettuces are doing great under a burlap dome, but my out in the open peas are fried.

CC
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Re: What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/19/2016, 6:32 pm

Welcome from Ohio , Beachmom!   Glad you came out of the shadows!  Hopefully you will get the right advice, eat food, and get your 2nd 4x4 in no time!  

You have some of the best experts advising you.  Be patient!  I know it is hard!  Good things come to those who wait!
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What's wrong with my zucchini

Post  Beachmom on 8/22/2016, 6:10 pm

Hi, 
   Thanks for the kindly responses for everyone.  Just to reply to CapeCoddess, I could never tip the compost barrel over.  It is massive and heavy.  

Also I am not sure how I would build a shade cage.  I am pretty bad at building stuff and we have almost no tools.   

I should probably start a new thread since the zucchini is dead but to update anyway, on August 16 I planted new squares with fall crops and replanted some spaces that didn't grow from the August 1 planting.    The 2 lettuce seedlings that did come up from August 1 are dying. They germinated but never sprouted true leaves.   

  I also think the same thing is happening to my swiss chard.   They germinated but aren't producing a 2nd set of leaves just the original 2.   I am somewhat concerned that I watered them too much and the roots rotted.  The two leaves are still hanging in there but it's been 22 days and no growth beyond that.  

   The peas are doing great.  Some of them are 6 inches high.   

For my eastern North Carolina neighbors here is a planting chart I found from NCSU extension service for planting times.  
http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/files/library/71/VegPlantingGuide.pdf
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