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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11510
Experience:  Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
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What is wrong with my zuchinni and summer squash Look at

Resolved Question:

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.

I'm sorry to see that no one has responded to your question earlier. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online and saw your question. Some additional information will help me figure out what is wrong.

What do the leaves and vines on the plants look like - normal, wilting, spotted with large or small spots, drying up, etc.?

How wet has your weather been over the last two weeks? What temperatures?

In what state do you live?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Plants look great! I harvetsted normal squah a week ago. I am in nort LA County, CA. It is hot here, 95- 105. I have tried to train the plants to grow up using tomato cages...but I don't think that could be the issue?
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. Your tomato cages are not the problem - in fact, training up is normally a way to avoid this type of disease. There are two culprits that are most likely to be the cause: Choanephora fruit rot or Phytophthora blight. Both cause similar symptoms. Warm temperatures and moisture make these more likely to occur. Some gardeners try to treat with fungicides, but because new fruits form so quickly on these plants, the fungi quickly gain a foothold on new growth.

Warmth and humidity make the diseases more likely. Moisture can come from actual humidity in the air, frequent rainfall, or watering. When you water, do so at ground level, avoiding the leaves and fruit. If your plants are close together, remove some to improve air circulation. Removing lower leaves and fruits may also help. Destroy the affected squash- don't compost them. Growing related plants in the same soil from one year to the next also increases chances of these diseases developing. A three-year crop rotation is best.

Since the plants themselves are healthy, all you can do is hope for a weather change, water at ground level, and try to improve air circulation. Healthy plants may again produce good fruit this season. However, sometimes these organisms are on the leaves without causing symptoms there. In that case, you'll have even more trouble eradicating the problem. Destroying the plants and putting in new ones in a different location are the only solution.

I'm sorry that you're dealing with one of these nasty diseases. I hope your crop will recover.

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