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Squash Plants Dying

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Squash Plants Dying

Postby Massalinie » Jun 05, 2012 11:09 am

I grew them all indoors from seeds and have just recently introduced the healthier ones to the garden after hardening them off over about a week and a half. The Summer Squash plants were not looking too healthy at that time, the tips of the leaves started to turn white as though they were drying out, so I left them out of the garden to see how the progressed and they are now all pretty much dead. My Zucchinis looked perfect a few days ago but are now starting to show the same symptoms and I'm worried they're going to die too.

It's definitely not mildew, after a little research I've found it could be either over-watering or under-watering, some kind of bacteria or some kind of bug (which I don't think it is since they were grown indoors in brand new soil). From the pictures etc online I just can't tell so I was hoping for some words of wisdom.

Summer Squash 1

Summer Squash 2

Zucchini 1

Zucchini 2
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby davefrombc » Jun 05, 2012 11:42 am

My guess, and it's only a guess, is it is sun scald.
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby OGrubber » Jun 05, 2012 11:51 am

I was going to go with either under or over watering until I saw the zuke_2_ pic. That one looks as though you have a spider mite infestation. Not uncommon when plants are indoors.
You can spray soapy water on the leaves and stems paying special attention to the undersides of the leaves and rinse with clear water afterwards. Repeat after a couple of days. I hope they recover for you.
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby Massalinie » Jun 05, 2012 12:54 pm

I don't think it's spider mites, there may have just been a few little bugs in that one picture. I don't see any other evidence of them. I haven't had much time to be home watching them lately so I'm thinking perhaps I wasn't watering them enough in the mornings. I've been keeping an eye on the soil and keeping it moist. We'll see how they do I guess.

If they were just getting burned from the sun, does that mean the new leaves should be alright? As you can see, they're fairly healthy and green (it's the Zucchini's I'm worried about, the squash seem beyond rescue so I've replanted them).
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby OGrubber » Jun 05, 2012 2:21 pm

Well, you can easily check to see if you have been overwatering...
Cup your hand over the top of the plant and tip it out of the pot to check the roots. If the roots aren't brilliant white and show some yellowing or browning, you are over watering.
My understanding was that these plants had been hardened off, so I was doubtfull that it could be environmental, but it's possible that you may have rushed the hardening a bit. If you've left them [your plants] outside with full exposure, the new growth on the zukes should be well hardened.
Good luck!
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby Mostly Weeds » Jun 05, 2012 3:00 pm

The first 2 pics look really leggy. If the coir pot in the 2nd pic is a 3" pot then the seedling in that one kinda looks really small for transplant as well. My first year of veggie gardening I tried to do squash & cukes in a windowsill and then I tried my best to harden them off but in the end they were just too spindly and they didn't hold up well at all.

I thought your 3rd pic looked fine? Some slight burn on the tips of one of the leaves, but the 4th looks stressed for sure. What's in your soil? Did you heavily fertilize the area before planting? Dump a bag of manure in the patch or something?
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby Mostly Weeds » Jun 05, 2012 3:02 pm

You could direct seed Zucchini at this point and really not be very far behind in my opinion. The plants will be far stronger that way too.
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby davefrombc » Jun 05, 2012 3:23 pm

Both the squash and zucchini should survive if it is sun scald .. New leaves will be fine in the sun. They won't be much , if any, ahead of direct seeded ones now though.
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby Massalinie » Jun 05, 2012 5:37 pm

Mostly Weeds wrote:The first 2 pics look really leggy. If the coir pot in the 2nd pic is a 3" pot then the seedling in that one kinda looks really small for transplant as well. My first year of veggie gardening I tried to do squash & cukes in a windowsill and then I tried my best to harden them off but in the end they were just too spindly and they didn't hold up well at all.

I thought your 3rd pic looked fine? Some slight burn on the tips of one of the leaves, but the 4th looks stressed for sure. What's in your soil? Did you heavily fertilize the area before planting? Dump a bag of manure in the patch or something?


These were grown on a windowsill which is why they were that leggy, I planted the other ones up to the first set of leaves and they seem to be happy now. The Squashes were too small because they died before they got big enough which is why I didn't plant them as well.

The third one is fine for now, but it looks like the other ones did before they got worse, which is why I'm asking for advice. I put regular compost in the garden but no added fertilizer. Do you think maybe they need something extra?
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Re: Squash Plants Dying

Postby Dumbo » Jun 05, 2012 6:00 pm

I grew pickles, cukes and zukes indoors like you.

No issue with the cukes.

The pickles and zukes definitely came out like yours when transplanted in the garden. Not all of them though, just a few of out about 40 plants or so.

Lost one pickle plant only. The zukes have picked up and are doing good. The white leaves are like Dave said... They dried up are are like dust if you touch them now. The other leafs (or new leafs) are doing fine.

I chalked it up to the sun.

EDIT:
You said:
The third one is fine for now, but it looks like the other ones did before they got worse, which is why I'm asking for advice. I put regular compost in the garden but no added fertilizer. Do you think maybe they need something extra?


I had a soil analysis done on my soil (results are some place here). Analysis came out good. So it isn't the lack of anything.

Yes it will likely get worse, more than likely. At least mine did. Mine started off around the edges, or the middle of the leaf in one case, and got worse. Till about 1/2 to 3/4 of the leaf was like that. the odd one the entire leaf turned white and dry.

It's as if the plant sucked back all the chlorophyll and left a white dry paper in place of the leaf. That's the best way I can describe it. But they picked up great.

Maybe it's some sort of transplant shock as well. No clue.

Keep the soil moist. That's what I did. That's the only advice I can give, and it seemed to work. Maybe someone else can chime in.
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