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Squash plants dying- not from bugs?

Posted by ahaynie z6 UT (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 28, 10 at 12:02

One of our squash plants (I believe it's an acorn squash plant) has withered and died.
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I don't know why. We've watered daily and done the normal things we usually do. We've had squash bugs before but it's not until just recently that they've arrived so I know they didn't do this. I've searched the forums and read about squash borers and I can't see that they've killed it either. I cut open one the stems and there's nothing in there. But our other squash plants haven't produced any fruit yet and some of their leaves on the bottom of the plant are started to yellow and wither just like this plant.
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I'm worried they are next. What is happening and what can I do? We love our zucchini and I want our plants to live and produce.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Squash plants dying- not from bugs?

I'm sure this isn't the problem, but if you are watering during midday and it's very hot, the steam created by hot sunlight will damage the plant. If it's too hot, water at night, but if it's normal temps, water in the morning. If it's rainy, you will get mildew if you water at night.

I've made the mistake of watering in midday before and the sun wilted the plants so bad, it took days to become normal. I live in the South where it's hot with much more humidity.


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RE: Squash plants dying- not from bugs?

If you have a very good magnifying glass, check the underside of the leaves for spider mites. They are extremely small and difficult to see even with the aid og the magnifying glass. Spider mites killed my squash plants and infested my tomatoes before I realized what it was. It has been extremely hot and dry here in NJ this summer and that made for good conditions for the mites. I have been spraying with all season horticultural oil and rotating with neem oil and it seems I am finally getting the mites in check.


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RE: Squash plants dying- not from bugs?

Watering every day is way too much for in ground plants. You've probably rotted the roots. I water every 5-7 days for my in ground plants.


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RE: Squash plants dying- not from bugs?

Bacterial wilt, most likely caused by cucumber beetle or squash bug.


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RE: Squash plants dying- not from bugs?

"but if you are watering during midday and it's very hot, the steam created by hot sunlight will damage the plant"

very incorrect.

In fact, though it's not the case here...in containers mid-day watering (against conventional logic) helps cool the roots during the heat of the day and helps the plants. On my containers I tend to water at 2-3pm during the worst of the summer heat, especially if they're in darker pots.


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RE: Squash plants dying- not from bugs?

Containers dry out too quickly for me and I would imagine on a hot day to water in the morning and at night, but I personally would avoid the midday mark. I've been there. I don't do well in containers and I imagine raised beds are ones that need daily watering too. I agree that maybe it's root rot due to overwatering. Anyone would know better. Most books say to not water every day unless you are nursing young seedlings.


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