Does anyone ever lose zucchini to frost?

spaghetina(SF Bay Area)August 6, 2009

Well, after just a couple months of producing (relatively slowly), my zucchini have the beginnings of PM. I just sprayed with a baking soda solution, since I didn't have any milk in the house and wasn't about to waste my heavy cream on zucchini plants, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it takes over all 11 of the summer squash. As a first year gardener and after all of the zucchini horror stories I've read, I was really hoping for such an insane amount of squash that I'd be begging people to take it, especially with so many plants, and it just wasn't the case this year. Ah well, next year.

It seems like this is a pretty common story around here though. If it's not SVB, it's PM. Something pesty or diseasy always seems to take over before weather can kill off summer squash, so I'm wondering if anyone's ever make it and stay healthy until dying from the cold. I don't think I've read any "my zucchini were killed by frost" stories here yet.

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ania_ca

This is my first year growing squash and zucchini. All I can say is that I feel your pain. Mine have done the same thing. I have 22 plants and can barely keep the 2 of us supplied. Please let me know how the baking soda works for you. I tried the milk but have no idea if it worked. There is still some PM on my plants though it looks like a lot less.

Now the SVB stories are downright scary. I'm really glad not to have that to deal with.

Ania

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 3:24PM
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spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

I used milk on my peas and it managed to stave it off long enough to get everything but a few peas to the final picking stage, but it was getting ugly there at the end, lol. Once I get to the store later today, I'll probably be going back to the milk, or alternating between milk and baking soda. I'll keep you posted though. This is the first day I've seen the spots, so hopefully I'm catching it early enough so that I can keep it in check. Those spores sure do crop up fast, the bastards.

For a while, I was really good about doing a weekly/bi-weekly milk spray as a preventative on the squash, but since my tomatoes have pretty much tanked because of the psyllids (that no-frickin-body else around here seems to have but me!!!), and they taste horrible, both my enthusiasm and diligence have waned a bit, and so now the squash will suffer a slow death, lol. But yes, I am also very thankful for the absence of SVB. Just the idea of having to operate on my zucchini stems or risk losing them made me shudder. Between the death spikes, and the hidden gigantic spiders that always seem to want to hang out, it's bad enough having to reach in there to harvest a hidden zucchini without having to touch the death spikes to actually seek out larval bugs. Eew.

I guess it's not all bad. I ordered several other fall-type veggies from valueseeds last week, so the sooner the squash die, the sooner I'll be able to plant new stuff. I think I'm going to need to diversify though. Beets, collards, and lettuce hardly seem like a satisfying group of things to plant. There has to be something more... fun, to be grown for the winter months.

Do you have your winter "stuff" all figured out yet?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 3:44PM
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ania_ca

Yea, I bought my fall seeds in already in my seed buying craze.

I have chard growing already cause I understand it can handle heat.

I just started brussel sprouts indoors 2 weeks ago to plant out in September.

Let's see. I'm planting Senposai (chard family)and kailan (sp)(Brocolli family) indoors today.

Starting Sept. I will be planting beets, turnips, radishes, bok choy, lettuce, spinach, various onions, mustard, Kohlrabi.

Ania

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 4:30PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

Yes, when I lived in Western PA there were many years that only killing frost stopped the flood of summer squash. :-)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 5:19PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I've had zucchini keep going to frost or nearly so a couple times. They got about 6 feet long by then.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 9:49PM
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spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

Ok, so that's two. *grin* I really am curious if more people lose theirs to the cold than do pests or diseases.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 9:57PM
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jillzee

Last year I was covering my crooknecks up with a blanket in October to protect them from frost. I had encountered the same usual problems of SVB and powdery mildew. The squash seemed to trudge their way along with the powdery mildew, but I did have to do injections with bt in the stems for the borers (they were particularly bad for me last year, but that seemed to do the trick. First time I had tried that).

So yes, last year was the first time, but they were still going! :)

Jill

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 10:01PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

Last year, my zucchini were killed by frost. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 3:28AM
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lalameija(8 oregon)

I havent really paid attention, but every zuccini plant I see has powdermildew, including my own. If it does inhibit harvest, really, who needs 600 pounds of zuccini. I get PLENTY.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 5:36AM
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ljpother(3a)

Of course frost kills the zucchini. If you want to experience it first hand move to zone 3a. :) I have had powdery mildew on the zucchini in the past but not this year. I'm getting PM on my miniature roses and another plant. Regular washing with the hose is keeping it in check.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 11:34AM
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spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

Oh, I know it WILL kill the zucchini, but I wasn't sure if anyone's zucchini ever even made it to the point where frost got them before something else did. :)

lalameija, if it reduces the harvest of my plants, I won't be getting any squash at all. Lately, I've been getting a couple a week, and that's out of 11 plants! It's a good thing I don't really love squash, or I would be even more disappointed in the slow production than I've already been, lol.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 1:58PM
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ania_ca

"if it reduces the harvest of my plants, I won't be getting any squash at all. Lately, I've been getting a couple a week, and that's out of 11 plants! It's a good thing I don't really love squash, or I would be even more disappointed in the slow production than I've already been, lol"

Try one or two a week from 22 plants! And I really do love squash!

Ania

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 2:54PM
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Holly DeVito

I was reading this post last night, and it made me curious to go check out my zukes, sure enough PW all over them! AUGH! I lost my peas to it in the spring. I sprayed them with baking soda, so hopefully that will keep it in check for a while. I only have 3 plants and have been getting about one a week from each. Not too bad, just enough to keep me liking it.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 3:49PM
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