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#66725 Jun 15th, 2007 at 05:47 AM
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Hi,
I have a couple of zucchini plants that had been doing great. However, about 2 weeks ago, I noticed the leaves turning brown and getting "crunchy". Now the little zukes are shriveling up and falling off! They're growing next to cucumbers which are thriving and strawberries that are doing well. They are getting about 7+ hours of full sun each day and are in good draining garden soil with lots of compost added before I planted the seeds.
Can anyone give me any ideas on what would cause this and how to remedy it before I lose my plants completely?
Thanks for your help.
Donna


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Donna
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A couple of possibilities Donna. One is fungal problems. This happens when the plants are wet overnight and it is spread by splashing the soil up onto the leaves. Mulching helps prevent this and also watering in the morning by flooding, not overhead watering. This gives the sun time to evaporate the surface moisture off so the plants are dry at night. It would be best if you cut the affected leaves off, right back at the base to help prevent the problem spreading. Wipe the knife off with methylated spirits afterward to help prevent spreading disease.
The fruit can shrivel up also if they are not pollinated. Are there bees working the plants? If not, you may need to hand pollinate, but i reckon the problem is more likely to be fungal because of the leaves being affected.
Dispose of diseased plant matter by burning or in the trash. Don't use in a compost bin.


The secret is the soil.
Longy #67633 Jun 16th, 2007 at 08:03 AM
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Thank you so much for your advice! I've never grown zucchini before. I've cut some flowers from the other side of the yard to put next to the zukes in hopes of attracting some pollinaters. I've also cut off the affected leaves and am watching the others closely.
Thanks again, I really appreciate the help.
Donna


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Donna
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Also, sounds a lil more like this, but i'm not there to see it first hand. . . Just talking from my own previouse experience with these rodents!! They'll wipe out your whole garden in under a weeks time!!! I use Seven accordingly throughout the year now. . not heavy, just enough to keep em away from teh garden.

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Originally Posted by DonnaBell
Thank you so much for your advice! I've never grown zucchini before. I've cut some flowers from the other side of the yard to put next to the zukes in hopes of attracting some pollinaters. I've also cut off the affected leaves and am watching the others closely.
Thanks again, I really appreciate the help.
Donna


You can cut out the middleman (bees) by handpollinating the fruit yourself. To do this, remove a male flower. (These are the ones on the long stalks.) Remove the petals and you will expose the stamen. This is where the pollen is heaviest. Wipe the stamen on the centre of the female flowers. (These are the ones that have embryo fruit at the base of the flower.) You will see the stigma in the centres. Just a single tap with the male flower will do it. You can do a number of females with the one male flower. Do this in the mid morning, it's when the plants are most receptive. It's actually quite fun to do so and watch the young fruit swell and grow. The same method will work for other cucurbits like pumpkin, squash and cucumbers too, so give it a try just for the knowledge.
I don't know much about the insect Danno suggested may be the problem, but i reckon if it was the case, you will see other effects as well as finding the actual critter, so keep an eye out. Don't go blowing away every bug you see though. Only a tiny percentage of insects are actually pests.
BTW, when you remove the petals from the male flowers, have a taste. They're really good fresh but taste great deep fried:-) You can also use the stalks of zuchinni as a vegetable which are best steamed when young.. A little stringy if they are left too long.
Enjoy your zuchinnis:-)


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Longy #68498 Jun 17th, 2007 at 05:22 PM
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I had a squash borer in one zucchini last year. I hadn't had that before. I could really tell what was wrong when I squeezed the stalk and it was weak and soft inside because the bugger was eating in there. I am using nylons to keep them out this year and burying the stalk more. Not that I have done either yet. notme

But I also had problems with too few plants and no pollination a few years ago, and I have also had problems with fungus. So you have company! I spray very often with a soap product for fungus and pyola for bugs too to stay ahead. Good luck!


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