How often should we water Zucchini? Keep wilting.

felin(8B)July 10, 2011

Hello,

I have read that we should only have to water our zucchini and other squash once a week, but we are finding that if we do not water every single day in this very hot summer, they all wilt and then come back to life after having been watered.

Is our assumption likely correct that the wilting is, in fact, happening because of drying out?

We water for 2 hours on a drip system. I'll have to ask my husband, but I think it is 1 gallon per hour.

I just don't want to cause any problems with over-watering, so wanted to ask.

Thanks!!

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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Two gallons is not enough. I think you would need at least 2-3" of water a week if it's really hot. Assuming that the root zone of the zucchini is over an area of 3 x 3 ft, that translates to about 13 to 19 gallons per plant per week. You might want to mulch as well above the emitter.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 2:20PM
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felin(8B)

So, are you saying that we should water once a week, but water it with 2-3"? What do inches translate to when using a drip system? Might you know by chance?

Thank you for your feedback, Slimy Okra.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:09PM
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buenaventura43

there are 231 cubic inches in one gallon.On 3x3ft and 1 inch of water that is...3x3x1[12x12]/231=5.6gallons.If your emitter is 1gal./hr. then you need to run your irrigation system for 5.6hours /week.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:35PM
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ljpother(3a)

Zucchini and other squash will wilt on hot days. If they don't come back in the evening, lack of water may be a problem.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 9:44AM
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tgirl1010

I just use the hose to water my squash, but I have to water heavily at least twice a week when it's really hot to keep my squash from wilting during the heat of the day.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:08AM
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melfield_wy(5b Wyoming)

I have found that I need to take watering recommendations with a grain of salt, especially those found in gardening books. Most of my gardening books are written by folks in New England or Atlanta or No. California.... not SE Wyoming. Growing a garden in Atlanta is alot different than in Wyoming because of alot more rainfall and much higher humidity. Here we have high temps, virtually no humidity and constant wind which means that my garden dries out FAST. I usually have to water once a day. Rather than relying on info that may not be correct for your area, learn to watch your soil and your plants and water accordingly.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:31AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The key is to make certain the entire root system is evenly moist. If you're using a dripper, only one small area is getting water.

If your system is different, please explain.

I replaced my drippers with soaker hoses and now everything is evenly moist.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:06AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Melfield makes a very good point about taking recommendations (even those from our friends here) with a grain of salt. Gardening in the arid Colorado mountains is very different than gardening in the humid Chesapeake Bay area. Of course, learning how to respond properly to a certain condition of a plant is something we all do where ever we are, so advice from different area is never useless either. :) Knowing the why of a gardening "rule" is more helpful than knowing the "rule" sometimes.

While watering your zukes more, keep an eye out for overwatering. If they are wilting during the day even while the soil is moist, you might be seeing heat stress, so more water may not prevent the wilting, only reduced temperature. Cheers!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:12AM
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pepper71

hopefully you dont have any other problems with the roots system like some thing attacking the roots. Also it depends on how well your soil retains and drains water. Here in TX my plants tell me pretty quick if they are thirsty in this 100+ degree weather. I water once in the morning at about 9-10am for 20-30 minutes and again around 9-10 pm for the same amount of time and they seem to be fine. This is using a black soaker hose. Like others said a drip system unless you have a round attachment around the plant will only water a very small area, I also learned this the hard way. The feeder roots will spread out close to the top of the soil and these will not get water if you drip system is and the stem of the plant.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:42PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

ljpother: "Zucchini and other squash will wilt on hot days. If they don't come back in the evening, lack of water may be a problem."

This poster knows what he/she is talking about. Zucchini and other squashes WILL wilt even though they have enough water. It's like some kind of self-protection.

If they wilt today, don't water, just watch. If they are alert and perky tomorrow morning, it isn't lack of water, just too much heat/sun. If they're still wilted in the morning, water them.

Next year, plant a couple zucchini plants where they will get a bit of shade during the heat of the day and see what happens.

Sue

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:53PM
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felin(8B)

Wow, you guys have been extremely helpful. Thank you so much! Our watering system is a drip system, however, we dug mini trenches around each plant so that water would go directly to the plant.

Thanks all!!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 1:56PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

We are replacing soaker hoses with drip irrigation, soakers dry to a crisp here within months and do not work very well. Every micro-climate has it's best practice and what works for one might not work well for the other.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 2:18PM
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pepper71

We are replacing soaker hoses with drip irrigation, soakers dry to a crisp here within months and do not work very well. Every micro-climate has it's best practice and what works for one might not work well for the other.

I agree i have had my soaker hoses for 2.5 years.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 5:56PM
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