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WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

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WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  1chichi on 5/15/2010, 2:41 pm

These squash plants were green and beautiful a week ago.
Now, they are are turning colors on the edges.
Around mid-day they wilt down, after I water them they perk up in an hour or so.

Why is this happening I just watered them last night?
Sometimes, I water them in the early morning, and they still wilt by
mid-day.






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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Chopper on 5/15/2010, 2:43 pm

I hope someone corrects me if I am wrong, but I believe the wilting is a natural occurrence and to be expected during the heat of the day. If you did not water them, they would probably perk up anyway when the sun went down.

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Megan on 5/15/2010, 3:57 pm

I have grown squash before, though not in a SFG... mine would start to do that if they were hot and thirsty. Squash plants produce a huge amount of biomass and are water hogs. Maybe someone with more experience can tell us if it is possible to over-water squash...?

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/15/2010, 4:10 pm

More water was my guess too, except for the insistance that they are already getting enough. The soil does look dry.

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Megan on 5/15/2010, 4:13 pm

I'm in 7a and in the past I've needed to water squash 2-3x a day. I can't get home at lunchtime to water so this was a frequent sight for me upon returning home. (Drip irrigation would be great but my budget is blown for this year.)

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  1chichi on 5/15/2010, 4:45 pm

Thank you.
I will mulch them, and water much longer/deeper tonight.
It's about 88 degrees today,
I hate to think what will happen next month to these plants. I may have to get shade cloth for them.

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Megan on 5/15/2010, 5:31 pm

Your plants look very well established (mine aren't even out of the ground yet!!) so I think/hope you will be fine. The only problem I have ever had with my squash is something that seemed to cut leaves off, don't know what that was.

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Chopper on 5/15/2010, 6:07 pm

Cut off the bottom of a 2 liter bottle. Put it in the ground upside down and when you are finishing your morning water, fill the bottle with water and let it gradually drip into the soil around the roots.

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Megan on 5/15/2010, 6:12 pm

Chopper, when I lived in Cali in the early 90's I did the same thing with roses, only I used a gallon milk jug and just poked a few small holes in the bottom of it. The 2-liter bottle approach sounds much more friendly to the small space in a SFG, though!

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/15/2010, 6:51 pm

@Chopper wrote:Cut off the bottom of a 2 liter bottle. Put it in the ground upside down and when you are finishing your morning water, fill the bottle with water and let it gradually drip into the soil around the roots.

If you do this, be sure and leave the cap on with just a couple of small holes in the cap. Otherwise all the water will pour out within minutes, especially since MM is so friable.

My squash are about the same size as yours and I'm giving each plant about a 1/2 gallon a day. I ignore the late afternoon droop.

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Chopper on 5/16/2010, 1:57 am

Not to alarm you but I found the following tonight while obsessing about my garden (which I have time to do since I am spending so little time weeding.

"
Damage


Often the first symptom of a borer attack is wilting of affected
plants. Wilting may occur only in strong sun at first (fig. 3), but if
the problem is left unchecked, the plants eventually collapse and die.
Closer observation of a wilting plant often reveals holes near the base
of the plant filled with moist greenish or orange sawdust-like material
called frass (fig. 4). Over time, the base may become mushy or rot away
altogether. Several borer larvae may attack a single plant."

This was from: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1209.html

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  1chichi on 5/16/2010, 6:21 am

@Chopper wrote:Not to alarm you but I found the following tonight while obsessing about my garden (which I have time to do since I am spending so little time weeding.

"
Damage

This was from: [url=http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1209.html
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1209.html[/quote[/url]]

That's good info Chopper, thank you
I think I'll get one of thost Inspector type magnifying glasses, because it's going to be difficult to see bugs in that massive plant.
Now, I'll need to find something organic to treat the plants with to prevent more attacks.
I have used DE on them several times, but it does get easily washed off.

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BlAcK BuGs?

Post  1chichi on 5/18/2010, 10:00 am

Yikes! I found tiny black bugs all over my squash blossoms. They jump like fleas and are about twice the size of a flea.
All the little squash have rotted.
All the blossoms have these tiny bugs on them.
I opened one and there was a tiny worm inside just eating away.
It's very tiny about the size of a flea.
They don't look like the squash bug that is the usual culprit.

I have watered deeply and mulched the plants.
What can I use to kill these bugs that won't be toxicfor humans?
What are these bugs?

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  alouwomack on 5/18/2010, 11:36 am

If they're small (a little smaller than a ladybug), round, smooth black beetles that jump . . . they sound like "flea beetles" to me. I can't see or download photos from work . . . but if you do a search for this beetle you'll see several examples.

A fellow gardener recommended kaolin clay to ward these off; I'm having a problem with these critters on my bush beans so I'll be heading to the store this afternoon to buy some.

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Chopper on 5/18/2010, 1:58 pm

I found this as far as organic
solutions at: http://www.ghorganics.compage9.html#Flea%20beetle:Flea beetle:


Adults are tiny at 1/10 of an inch and hop like a flea. They have a brown or
black body (some with yellow stripes.) They lay eggs in the soil with 1-2
generations per year.
Adults overwinter in garden debris. The larva will feed on plant roots whereas
the adults attack foliage and stems. They flourish in stable warm spring
weather but do not fare well during alternating periods of hot and cold
temperatures with intermittent rains. They will not eat in wet weather and
hide.
Predators:
Toads, which eat all stages of the bug as will chickadees,
vireos, purple finches. Ground beetles and parasitic wasps will hunt them.
Repellent plants:
Candytuft, garlic, mints, shepherd's purse, tansy and
wormwood.



  • Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth as a barrier around plants
    or dust the whole
    plant with it.

  • Onion and garlic are natural flea-beetle repellants.
    Teas can be made
    from these plants to use a spray on susceptible plants.

  • Seedlings are most vulnerable to flea beetle feeding
    when stressed,
    particularly by lack moisture.

  • Flea beetle control can be aided by using yellow sticky
    traps. Place individual traps every 15 to 30 feet of the plant row.

  • Make a barrier of lime or coffee grounds around
    vulnerable plants.

  • Plant radishes or pak choi as trap crops. Stretch
    pantyhose over young cabbages. Tie top and bottom.

  • Chinese Daikon and Snow Belle radish are favorites of
    flea beetles. Plant these at 6 to 12 inch intervals among cole crops.

  • Use a mulch of chopped clover. Hot pepper or garlic
    sprays can help.

  • Scatter chopped and bruised leaves of tomato, mint,
    catnip, wormwood, bergamot or elderberry on and around plants the beetles
    like..

  • Wave strips of fly paper over plants. This disturbs the
    flea beetles, making them jump and get snared on the paper. This works extremely
    well!


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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

Post  Megan on 5/18/2010, 5:16 pm

Hmm. I have tiny flies all around my garden, but everything is really in the sprout stage still, except for the potatoes and lettuce. Do ants have a flight stage when they set up a new hill? I can't remember. :scratch:

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Re: WHY is my SquaSh turning colors?

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