growing zucchini in pots

lpl8man(z8 WA)May 14, 2006

Is it possible to grow this in pots? If so, what size pot do you need?

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username_5(banned for no reason)

The larger the better. Even the sq ft gardening method which spaces tomatos 12" apart and cucumbers 6" apart allows a 3'x3' area for zucchini.

I haven't tried it so can't comment any more specifically than that.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 5:22PM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

Perhaps consider lemon cukes in large pots instead? they seem to like a bit of trellising, and they don't form as huge a central mound as zukes. Leaves are smaller too.

Now, let me think - I have a large half wine barrel, that could certainly handle a lush Squash in the middle or back, with lower growing and trailing stuff all around the edges. So it really depends on the container. Those livestock watering troughs would work too, I think. Remember to provide drainage if you use something like that. One side of a kiddie pool could also handle a squash plant or 2, I think. All containers are certainly not alike.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 10:59PM
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Have you considered Yellow Crookneck Squash? They are more compact than Zukes, and at least for me grow well in 20 inch plastic pots.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 10:12PM
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rain1950(W. WA z8)

5 gallons minimum. You might want to find the DYI earthbox thread inn this forum.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 12:55PM
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I planted some zucchini seeds about four weeks ago in two container pots. About a week and a half ago, I started seeing the plants beginning to emerge through the soil. Three days ago I cut off plants, leaving the two biggest ones in each container. Yesterday, I noticed that the two plants in one of the pots has a whitish powder forming on the leaves, whereas the other container's two plants look very green and healthy. I'm new at this, so I'm not sure what's happening. Can anyone give me some help on what to do? Thanks much.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 4:08PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

Sounds like powdery mildew, Rosanne. It is a fungus very common to the vine crops.

Try a daily spraying with milk to see if that clears it up. Caught early it can work out. Otherwise you have to make a call between using a fungicide like sulphur (organic and human/pet safe) or letting the plant go to plant heaven. Often the PM will allow the plant to grow and produce fruit, but it just depends. Definitely avoid getting the leaves wet when watering as this just helps the fungus.

I am including a link to an article on milk as a fungicide

Here is a link that might be useful: milk

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 4:24PM
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Thanks much - I'll give the milk a try. And thanks for the link too - very informative.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 5:28PM
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I have one zucchini and one yellow squash in an earth box. Both have been planted for about 4 weeks. Both are loaded with small squash and seem to be doing well.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 7:10PM
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for PM you can also try 1 aspirin tablet in a gallon of water sprayed on.

you can also try some hydrogen peroxide sprayed on. dilute it down a bit. of course the less dilution the faster and stronger.

one idea is to change the PH on the plant so PM will not grow. not sure but I wonder if some lime might do it. mix a little lime in water and try spraying that on.

I think baking soda works this way. a little baking soda in water sprayed on changes the ph and should stop the PM.

try not to use poisons. they are not needed. why poison yourself with poisoned food.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 9:30AM
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I have a French type of summer squash growing in my outside *garden* (an open bottomed sorta raised bed about 8 ft. X 2.5 ft.

It's a shrub with greyish, round summer squash and looks as if it might be raised in a large container. (Got some blossoms already, even though I planted it late)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 2:44PM
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I'm new to gardening I started my first container garden my zucchini are growing well it's producing lots of flowers but no fruits. When should I see the fruits?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 9:02PM
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Having grown both cukes and zucchini in containers, I learned that both work well if grown vertically up a tomato cage or similar apparatus. The soil mix is compost/manure with a healthy dose of perlite and two plus inches of mulch. I fertilize monthly during the growing season. Suggestion, pick them small, DELICIOUS right out of the garden.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 3:26AM
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I'm late to the party on this thread but I have a question for Paul. You have grown zucchini in containers which I would like to do this year. I have several half barrels and am contemplating a couple of Earthboxes. Have you used either?

My other question is you use support for your zucchini? Never thought of that. Is that to keep air circulation at its best? I'll have to try your technique.



    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 5:02PM
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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Ive done theis and put them out on my driveway, to get maximum sun. They did great. I didn't fuss but watered them every day, and fed them weekly. Great tomaotoes, in 3 gal. container's grew everything else in half whisky barrels. The flavor was great, 2lb tomatoes, luffa sponges, squash, herbs, corn, carrots, beats, whatever else you have in a vegetable garden. It just a barrel of fun. Norma

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Hi everybody! Boy have I learned a lot about container gardening this year. I have a 40 x 10 upper deck on the north side of my home. Talk about challenging! I have three zukes in three large terracotta pots (5 gallons each). To reach maximum sun I have them on a 3' heavy round glass table top on the corner railing of my deck. Believe it or not they are VERY sturdy. Huge but sturdy. The leaves tend to grow up and cascade down over the pots. Make sure not to overwater. The baby zukes will shrivel up. I water a gallon per plant every two days. They will droop when they are thirsty and perk right up after a drink. Fertilize with worm castings every two weeks. Don't be afraid to cut off yellow or damaged leaves.

Believe it or not I've got tomatoes with 75-100 tomatoes growing per plant! Even on my north side I've tackled carrots, broccoli (still working with the broccoli), a dozen different herbs, radishes and beans, beans, beans! All on my north facing container garden on my upper deck! I just move them around when they need it.

Also I have learned a little secret I will share.... rain water! I have a converted trash can that is my rain catcher. When it rains I hook up the gutter downspout and even in a light rain it will fill (50-60 gallons) in 15 minutes! When I first started with the rainwater I noticed that the growth stages were healthier and rapid with the rainwater. I'm not kidding when I tell you that I can see where the plants started receiving rainwater each watering. On my lavender there is actually a difference in the growth pattern. Don't let me scare you with the trashcan rain barrel. Its painted and looks great on my deck (we did put a spigot on the bottom and now I can dip a pitcher or run the hose to each plant). The best part is I don't have to haul water through the house. Best wishes, Tracy

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:33PM
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I agree with Tracy! Rainwater makes a difference!!! I was amazed at the difference, so I made four 55 gallon rain barrels. I ran out of water once all season during a 16 day dry spell, but they are now full and overflowing again. Surprised more people don't get into the rain barrel thing. Free water and it works better for any kind of plant! Paul

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 8:28AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

But what about container size? Is 5 gallons really the minimum? Anyone grown zucchini in 3 gallon containers? I'm here in coastal Florida and starting my fall garden now and I'm really tempted to try some cukes and zukes in 3 gallon containers to see if it's possible to do this.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 7:58AM
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Nobody mentioned eggplants on this thread, but while we're on the whole container and size issue, let me note that I grew full size eggplants in ONE GALLON containers this summer, and am still getting yummy eggplants. I didn't know any better and put the little starter plants from Wal Mart in one gallon pots with good potting soil. I have fertilized a lot (fish emulsion plus miracle-gro) and water once or twice daily. Only recently did I read that you're supposed to use three to five gallon pots for full size eggplants. I guess the moral of the story is that with proper care you can get away with smaller containers than are really "appropriate."

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 10:52PM
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bigeworld(9b surprise az)

ive got zucchini growing now. they are big and beautiful. easy to grow in containers. 18 gal totes will hold 6 plants/ i put 2 plants together in 3 locations in container. works great for me . dont forget the male blossoms are good to eat. if u know how to prep them.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 12:33AM
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bumble_doodle(Z5 CT)

This summer I successfully grew eightball zukes in 5 gallon buckets - 2 plants per bucket, hung from a shepherds hook anchored to a fence. I also grew traditional zukes but had more success with the eightball. Next year I'm planning on adding one ball and pattypan...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 3:20PM
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alanjones10(z9 CA)

I have zucchini in pots. They are doing great.
I have a problem. The fruit is coming on nicely, and they are beautiful but on many of them the last inch or so of the zucchini does not fill out. It stays skinny, some yellow, one even got brown, while the rest of the same zucchini looks great and is growing. What could it be?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 12:43PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Probably BER - blossom end rot ... caused by a lack of Ca in the nutrient stream & brought on by either a Ca deficiency or any of a number of cultural conditions that inhibit Ca uptake.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 2:35PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Or they're not all getting pollinated, are you seeing bees?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 5:54PM
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imstillatwork(8-9 Oregon Coast / Ca Border)

"ive got zucchini growing now. they are big and beautiful. easy to grow in containers. 18 gal totes will hold 6 plants"

I have GOT to see that. I have 2 plants per 18 gallon container and they are huge! growing great though. I could imagine 3, but 6?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:05PM
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ragtimegal(9 CA 19)

Here is my happy zucchini in a 15 gallon pot in Al's 5:1:1 mix. It has 2 zucchini's on it now. I took the picture from above trying to capture the flower, so it makes it a bit difficult to get perspective on the size, but it is huge! :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:08AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I'm STILL trying to figure out why in the world ANYONE would want to grow zucchini - especially in a pot! Anyone? ;o)

Where I live, zucchini is the only reason we lock our doors - house AND car.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:12AM
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ragtimegal(9 CA 19)

Oh, you are missing out!! Saute some zucchini and yellow squash in some olive oil (with or without garlic, depending on your preference), then add some freshly ground, black pepper....yummy!!!

As a side note, my zucchini in the pot in the 5:1:1 is outperforming the one I have in the ground that was planted about 6 weeks earlier. In fact, ALL of my container grown veggies...mostly toms and some peppers, are out performing those in the ground.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 12:28PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Noooo! Heck no! I'm not missing out. YOU DON'T GET IT! The only reason we HAVE TO lock our doors is because if we don't, we'll come home to a kitchen table loaded with, or get into a car that has the passenger seat stacked high with ....... zucchini! ;o)

I was really just teasing - having some fun, but I really do have relatives & neighbors who supply all the zucchini and summer squash I could EVER think of using. ;o)


    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 1:36PM
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red_chucks(5 (Chicago))


I grow zucchini to eat the blossoms. It's a treat; my aunt fried them country style, coated in Saltine crumbs, and my wife uses an Italian recipe from Marcella Hazan. Good both ways. And the best part: The more blossoms you eat, the less zucchini you have to sneak into the neighbors' houses and cars.

I'm growing them in the 5-1-1 mix this year in a big pot. So far so good.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:14PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Cool - I know a lot of folks eat the battered/fried blossoms, but I've never had a chance to try them. I'm sure I'd enjoy. Maybe if I grew zucchini, hmm? ;o) Really glad your plants seem to be doing well, too.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 9:24AM
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I have 2 zukes in a 5 gallon bucket that are doing well now, but would recommend only one per 5 gal bucket as it takes a little work to make them happy. the yellow squash in 5 gal buckets look to be happy so far

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 10:51AM
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I'm new here and not sure if my original post went through, so I apologize if this shows up twice.

I'm also growing zukes in 5 gallon buckets. I may have missed this, but I'm interested in how people are supporting the plants. What method do you think is best? Tomato cages? Attaching chicken wire to the buckets and to a nearby porch railing, then letting them spread out on the chicken wire? I'm not sure what to do here. Trellis on the wall? Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:37PM
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ragtimegal(9 CA 19)

airveyor- welcome! Your question is a good one, as I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do for support either...trellis, just spread out around the container...I didn't think that far ahead! My plant is getting huge, and I'm going to have to start contemplating this one soon.

If no one comes around to answer on this thread, start a new one with the question in the title. Sometimes new questions get buried in older posts like this one, and they don't get seen by everyone.

Here's another pic of my zuke gone wild...


    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Wow Ragtimegal, that zuke is awesome! Mine aren't that well-developed, but they're spreading out. I'll wait a few days, then start a new thread. Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:47PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Nice to see some pictures, it gets really hot here in Florida so while I'm growing them in 5 gallon nursery containers I've set the 5 gallon containers into bunkers made out of 7 gallon containers, to keep the mix cooler. I usually grow three plants to a container and use an upside down tomato cage to force the plants out away from each other, and usually grow compact plants like Butterstick or Gold Rush.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 10:33AM
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ragtimegal(9 CA 19)

Tom- great idea with the bunkers! I think you suggested this to me several months ago when I was brand new to the forum. Still a newb, but learning as I go. I may try this...having awful luck with stuff in the ground, but my containers....everything is VERY happy!

Al- ummm...I think I am going to better understand what you mean about having to lock out the zukes! Just harvested my first one three days ago, I have another one that is HUGE that needs to be harvested today, with another one growing next to it that will be ready in probably 3-4 days...and I only have one plant!! Tom- you WILL have zukes coming out of your ears...but I think Al will be happy to take some off your hands. :o)

Here's the first two so far:

Too bad the squirrels ate my squash plant. I sure would have liked to have had one to saute up with these guys...squash that is, not squirrels. ;o)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 8:59AM
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Well, I had to get in on this one...
I'm really hurting for containers this year, so I planted my one zucchini plant in a shallow wooden box that is 4.5"D x 12.5"W x22.5"L. It holds about 4.5 gallons of soil. I'm hoping it will produce enough for two people(one of which eats it only if it's disguised in something),so basically for one person(me). It's looking pretty good so far, I think...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:30PM
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Please help!
I have lots of blossoms on my zucchinis but NO zucchinis at the base! What am I doing wrong? What should I do?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 1:14PM
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ragtimegal(9 CA 19)

noinwi, I think your plant is looking good! I am surprised at the amount of water my plant is requiring, and with a shallow box, you may have some pretty heavy water requirements as well, but definitely keep the pics coming! That was a very creative idea with the box you made, and I'd love to see how your plant progresses.

iriegirlfran- I am new to growing zucchini, so I can't offer a whole lot of advice, but I'll start with what I know. First, do you have any female flower blossoms or male? You can tell by the width of the stem supporting the blossom. If it is long and thin, it is a male, the thick ones are from female blossoms. If you don't, then that's the problem.

If you have both, you can try hand pollinating if you aren't getting enough flying friends to pollinate them for you. I've not done that, but it involves taking a q-tip or other device (others may have better recommendations for what to use) and take some pollen from a male flower and rub it on the stamen in the female flower. I hope I explained that correctly!

Also, have you had any zucchini start and then rot away at the blossom end, i.e. blossom end rot (BER)? I have only had one thus far, and hopefully no others will occur.

Good luck, and if you are having more trouble, start a new thread and ask your question in the title. This one's getting old, so I may start a new one to help facilitate a fresher thread for everyone this year growing zucchini that has questions.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 6:11PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Rag - good job!

Fran - that's normal in the beginning stages of growth, you either have all males or all females initially depending on the variety you're growing, so there's nothing to pollinate. If you see the fruit, you have the female bloom, if all you have is a stem bloom, you have the male....If you do have both and you're not seeing bees or other cross-pollinators then you'll need to break off a male bloom at its peak and spread some pollen on the female bloom at its peak, but my guess is that the plants are small and you're seeing one or the other.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 7:31PM
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thanks for the info. It seems that I have ALL male flowers. Is this possible?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:07PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

thanks for the info. It seems that I have ALL male flowers. Is this possible?

Very common during early growth, I do have a variety (Butterstick) that's just the opposite, puts out tons of females before the male blooms come along....

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 6:24AM
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Does growing zucchini in pots prevent squash bugs? I'm in the midst of battling them, but I have many casualties.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 11:51PM
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My zuke was putting out all females at first, but now it's got males on board. I haven't had any pests so far, but we live near a lake, and there are lots of toads, bats, birds and predatory bugs(wasps, dragonflies, etc). The box seems to be working well so far.
Here we are today, ready for harvest...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Zucchini is the type of plant that will literally grow anywhere.

The main thing to remember is that they will get huge, up to 6 feet in width, so do account for that in any instance.

It might be wiser to keep your containers for less hardy plants like herbs and such, but if you are rooftop gardening or something, you have no choice.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out the Big Zucchini for growing tips

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 11:44PM
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Sorry to be so late to the party but one of the best and cheapest containers for growing zucchini or other vegetables is the ugly old styrofoam ice chest. They come in many sizes, are quite deep, and in hot climates, the styrofoam protects the roots from burning. Plus, they're cheap and you can punch drainage holes wherever you want! Ask me nicely and I'll send pictures!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:51AM
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I would like to see pictures, please :-) My zucchini is not producing as well as I hoped. I think I have several issues. One, I planted 3 plants in one 5(?) Gallon container. Two, not enough pollination. I have started hand pollinating and have had a little success. The overcrowding, well, lesson learned for next year! I should have looked it up before I ppanted them ;-) My plants are kinda hanging over the side of the they not like that? I had planned to train them up a trellis but was too late in tying them up.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:50AM
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Im glad I ran into this thread as My zuke is on its way. I had thought I could get away with a small pot with this guy until I read this. Time to go pot shopping. I am looking to grow mine in a pot and go vertical. Any suggestions for someone like me who has no idea what she is doing? lol From Zone 9 Vegetable Garden with Containers

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:21PM
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Sherry9, most zucchini 'vines' will only get a couple of feet long at best(IME), and will hang over the container toward the sun. They're quite stout and makes it hard to grow vertical unless you have a variety that is more 'vining'. I prefer to plant them in something wide and fairly low so they can hang over and rest on the ground. Others have had success with taller pots and buckets though, so maybe you could grow two in different types of pots and see which works best for you. HTH

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 12:46PM
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My plant leaves are turning yellowish and curling a bit. I am using a sulpher anti fungus powder and a follier. Can I do anything better? What kind of manure will help? I am located in Kolkata, India

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:27PM
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No one so far has described the horror of Squash Vine Borer! I am in Orlando Fl, planted a zucchini in a pot about a month ago. First time. It was growing like gangbusters with lots of little zukes, then started wilting before my eyes. I found little squash borers eating them from the inside. The Web advice is pretty dismal. Anyone have a solution?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:17PM
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have a car load of these anyone got Al's address so I can drop them off he he he

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 2:46AM
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Well, since this post is on the frontpage of the forum anyways, I hope, that no one will mind that I'm linking a post I made yesterday on the balcony forum. - I need help determining if my yellow leaves are iron (or some other mineral) deficiency, or if it might be downy mildew.

Click here to go to my post on the balcony forum.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 5:59PM
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