zucchini problems

happytomatoJune 3, 2007

My sister lives in z8 (Ca.), and is having serious problems with her 4 zucchini plants. They are growing, but the foliage comes up yellowish-green, instead of dark green. Then, after a while, the leaves turn brown and curl up! She has clay for soil, but she ammended with a good potting soil. The plants get good sun, and she's been watering daily, as it's been around 80 degrees every day. Does anyone know what the problem could be??? Thx much~

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disgett2

What kind of fertilizer is she using? Dale

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 4:54AM
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mickee311

Squash vine borers, maybe? Have her check the base of her stems for slits and sawdust looking goop.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 9:52AM
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jbann23(6 RI)

Oh yeah, could be SVB. Probably the most hated pest in the gardening world. You'll find a hole or holes near ground level and a little pile of frass. Looks like sawdust. That's where the pest has entered. If you don't see this then maybe some fertilizer is in order. Let's hope.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 10:10AM
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lscribb

I'm having the same problems. I just went and looked for SVB and didn't see any of the "symptoms." I'm just using Miracle Grow. Any ideas of what it could be?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 2:15PM
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garygnu

i have monster size zuke plants, but on one of them the oldest
leaves are turning brown and appear to be drying up. but the rest is
fine. I dont know if this is realted. I accidentally went a little
hard on the phosphate this year, and I see no SVB.
I did use miracle grow about 2 weeks ago, i am wondering if i need more.

My first time with the zukes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 2:34PM
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gonefishin(z7bTx)

If you lived in our area, I might suspect root rot from the unusual amount of rain keeping the ground thoroughly saturated!

If your soil is not deficient, or you are fertilizing enough, they should be nice and green.

Damage from the SVB will look something like , especially if it is near the base of the plant near the ground. It is perhaps not as dramatic on further along the stem and may just be a small place where they entered at the juncture of a stem, leave, bloom or tendril.
Bill P.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 5:39PM
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tcith54_aol_com

Where do SVB's enter the vines? Is this something that can be prevented by wrapping the base of the vine with aluminum foil like I to to "foil" cutworms?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 8:40AM
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lisalu

I have the opposite zucchini problem mainly being I wish I hadn't planted zucchini! I have only two zukes in my garden along with yellow squash, okra, tomatoes, peppers and watermelon. The danged zucchini plants are HUGE, twice as big as the yellow squash. The larger one spans at least four feet in each direction with humongous elephant ear leaves hogging space and light. Healthy? OMG, one plant alone has produced half a dozen zukes while peppers, okra and tomatoes are not yet ready to harvest.

Don't get me wrong, I like zucchini. But I don't LOVE it, and it sure ain't worth having it take over my garden and crowd out veggies I do love. Next year, only ONE zucchini plant (if any!)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 7:45PM
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sarahlynnwhite

lisalu- i am a zucchini LOVER!!! if you have an access of zucchini try making zucchini bread... i plant my zucchini primarily for this (although i love it sauted with onions as well). i make a lemon zucchini bread and a chocolate one (tastes like brownies), the kids LOVE it and it is pretty healthy. i can make like 8 loaves in a day and freeze them. super easy, super delicious. just an idea to help you to love your zucchini just a little more. Sarah

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 9:54PM
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lisalu

Sarahlynn, can you post your recipe for lemon zucchini bread? That sounds interesting.

Usually I sautee it along with yellow squash, my family doesn't really care for zucchini by itself. Also, since the plant is so prolific (and we're just getting started!!) I have been picking the zukes quite small - cucumber sized - because I think they are a little tastier that way. I'm not really trying to get super large zukes anyway, so I might as well enjoy 'em tiny and tender.

Thanks....LL

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 9:27AM
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belindach(9A)

lisalu, I suggest you shredd your zucchini and add it to soups. The shredded zucchini disappears and becomes a part of the broth. I added shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, chopped onions, canned tomatoes, frozen okra, and a handfull of butterpeas to a soup. All the above were from my garden. Good plus no chemicals. There is a limit to the amount of squash my DH will eat but he does eat soup. Finally, I'm getting him to eat vegs without much nagging. He doesn't know. I shredd and than freeze about a cup per baggy.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 11:04AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

We have digressed from the original question. ;)

Happytomato

but the foliage comes up yellowish-green, instead of dark green. Then, after a while, the leaves turn brown and curl up! She has clay for soil, but she ammended with a good potting soil. The plants get good sun, and she's been watering daily...

I suspect th "watering daily" is her problem. Yellowing new growth is a classic sign of excess water and given her clay soil, which retains water, she needs to try cutting way back on the water and see if the plants don't improve.

Not only does excessive watering wash the nutrients out of the soil but it deprives the roots of needed oxygen. Also, many times when a clay bed has been improved a pool of water forms down at the clay level and drowns the roots.

Remind her that plants, especially zukes, will tolerate too dry conditions much better than too wet conditions, so she needs to check the moisture level at least 3" down before watering and when in doubt, don't water. Pass on our wishes for good luck. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 12:21PM
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andee506

I also have clay soil....am I watering too much? My zucchini start withering when they get about2 to 3 inches long.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 2:14PM
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sarahlynnwhite

lisalu: here is my recipe, i know the chocolate one sounds weird at first but don't nock it till ya try it... you would NEVER know that it had zucchini in it. I spent years trying to find the perfect zucchini bread recipe and i adapted this one myself... i think its pretty good.
Sarah Lynn's Lemon Zucchini Bread
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 C sugar
1 C shredded zucchini
1/4 C cooking oil (i use veg)
1/4 C milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp lemon zest
VARIATION FOR CHOC: omit cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, REDUCE FLOUR TO 1 CUP, add 1/2 C cocoa pdr., 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 C - 1 C mini chocolate chips.
********************************************************
Directions: In large bowl mix all dry ingredients, in med bowl mix wet ingredients. Add wet mixture into dry and mix well. Add chocolate chips now if making choc. bread. Pour into GREASED loaf pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hr. 5 min. - test with a butter knife if it comes out clean it is ready (remember the choc chips will melt on the knife, that doesn't mean it isn't done.)
Enjoy!!
********************************************************
I agree that zucchini is tastiest if you pick it young, but if you let a couple go and pick them when they are monsters... i just picked a 14 inch one... you can make 2-4 zucchini bread with ONE zucchini and the bread doesn't taste better or worse for it! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Sarah

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 5:39PM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

My zucchinis are taking over, too. I love it, though, so I'm thrilled. They are just now starting to get small fruits on them, though, so it will be a while before we start eating them. I can't wait! Sarah, thanks for the recipes, they sound wonderful. I want to try both varieties. We also can "soup base" out of the garden; tomatoes, cabbage, green beans and zucchini. That way in the winter all we have to do is decide whether we are going to make beef or chicken veggie soup. But my plants have never been as big as they are this year. YAY!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 9:34AM
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sarahlynnwhite

ediej1209, can you explain what you mean by soup base... do you cook it and then can it? and then just add meat when you are ready to eat it? do you think that would work for freezing, i don't like all the salt incorporated into canning? sarah

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 10:13AM
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j4eleven

If she has clay soil, then she probably shouldn't be watering every single day- especially when the temperatures are only in the 80's. Clay soils can hold too much moisture and rot your roots. Tell her to water once and then wait 3 or more days before watering again. Check the plants in the morning before it warms up and see how the leaves look. If they are limp and wilted then you can water again. Don't water because the leaves are wilted during the hottest part of the day- almost all plants wilt during high heat, but they will perk back up late in the evening. I learned this lesson the hard way by over watering my plants last year.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 11:45AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

I'm familiar with the kind of clay soil that your sister has - it comes with the territory in many parts of California. I have it about a foot down - and at times it is like a clay pot without a hole in the bottom.

After I dig a hole, I put water in it. If the water won't drain, then I must either get through the clay, find another spot to garden or plant a tree, or rise above it.

This clay, however, is very rich in nutrient, so if possible to get drainage, it makes for fine growing soil. It does need to be amended.

Because of this clay soil, I raise most of my veggies in raised cedar board boxes. This helps to allow for proper drainage. You will find many references to this type of growing - becoming most popular in areas where clay soil is a problem.

You mention adding potting soil to the clay. It would be preferable to add compost to either clay or sand - which we have plenty of here - usually clay with a sandy top over it. Not the best type of soil.

It would appear that the clay soil is holding too much water, thereby drowning the roots. You might recommend that your sister look into composting and/or raised beds. She will thank you for it.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 1:36PM
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crabjoe(z7 MD)

Ok.. little of topic, but how does one shred zukes for bread?

Is it like julianne; shredded = julianne?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:04PM
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sarahlynnwhite

i shred it with a box grater (use the biggest size shred), the zucchini releases more juices this way resulting in a moister bread, but you can do it in the food processor.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:20PM
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crabjoe(z7 MD)

Sarah,

When you shred, do you peel the zukes 1st or do you shred skins an all?

THX

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 3:42PM
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sarahlynnwhite

skins and all.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 8:51PM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

Sarah, Yep, we do the hot-pack method; we combine the tomatoes, beans, shredded cabbage and chunked zucchini in a large kettle and let it boil well then ladle it into hot, sterilized jars and seal. I know, that is probably making the Home Ec people shudder, but it works for us and we still have one jar from 2 years ago and it is still good (we did have a couple more jars but just recently used them.) We just make sure we boil it well after we open the jar. Then we put in pre-cooked beef or chicken (great use for leftovers!) and whatever else sounds good at the time... corn, lima beans, carrots, what-have-you. Simmered all day in the crockpot, served with a loaf of homemade bread and real butter... YUMMY!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 9:33AM
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lisalu

Sarah, I have a question about your recipe before I try it. You have 1/4 tsp baking powder. Is that correct? It doesn't seem like enough, I wondered if that was a type.

Thanks, I can't wait to try it! LL

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 10:04AM
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mr_potaohead

My problem is ALL of the flowers coming up are males. Not a single female. This has been happening for the last 2 months. Anyone have a suggestion to stimulate the plants to send up female flowers?

I have been saving the pollen from some of the male flowers in case this problem reverses and all I have are males.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 3:05PM
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hagges_clear_net_nz

Mine leaves started to get the burned look at edges, so i made manure tea, since been spraying with this they have come right the manure tea puts on good bugs and removes bad bugs, and keeps away afids and white fly left long enought so ill make more for my other plants. look at my giant zuc
http://www.freewebs.com/hagges/apps/photos/photo.jsp?photoID=22022760&prev=1

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:17PM
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vasquezc0_netzero_com

My zucchini is blossoming with the typical yellowish flowers and I see the start of a zucchini but then the small zucchini dries up and looks like a large dried out tic tak. what is going on? Help! I don't think it is svb.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 1:45AM
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