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Author Topic: Cutting Old Leaves Off Summer Squash  (Read 9374 times)
LoneStarKayaker
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Posts: 101

Southeast Texas Zone 9/8


« on: May 21, 2008, 01:39:53 PM »

Has anyone ever cut the majority of  the older leaves off summer squash and had the plants  come back.  Powdery mildew took over my yellow and zucchini so I decided to experiment with cutting the bigger/diseased/older leaves off. The plants still have  fruit on them and the baby leaves look fine. I sprayed last night with a fungicide but decided today to try this.
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Donald1800
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Posts: 1539

Fontana, CA Zone 8


« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 02:59:32 PM »

Yes, this is the normal and recommended procedure.

Donald1800
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tyrus
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Posts: 141


Chicago, IL Zone 5b


« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2008, 05:56:21 PM »

Just to back track a bit here but how common is this squash borer and what is the best way to deal with it?  I have met another roof-top farmer who told me his squash/zucchini was going great until the squash borer set it and it killed his plants.  I have some leafs that have been beaten up by the wind but he hinted that I might want to keep an eye out for the squash borer mildew/fungus.  I've included a picture of the zucchini leaves below and wondering if anything looks suspicious.  Also, what the best way to take care of this plant - trim older leaves from the top / spray fungicide - is there any natural fungicide, etc???

I know there's some great experience on this site.  Thanks in advance for your help...

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MaryB
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Zone 7, North Central AR


« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2008, 07:11:25 PM »

I don't know how common the squash vine borer is, Tyrus. My brother in PA lost an entire crop one season because of it. After you have the borer in the squash, I don't think there's much you can do. The cooperative extension services book says that to prevent them you need to begin control measures about the time the plants start to bloom by applying an insecticide to the base of the plant.

We've been enjoying fresh zucchini for the past 10 days with everything looking great. Until tonight. Now there is one leaf turning yellow and edges beginning to yellow on other leaves. Does anyone know what this is and what I need to do? 


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* Garden 012c.jpg (148.28 KB, 1024x766 - viewed 124 times.)
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Donald1800
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Fontana, CA Zone 8


« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2008, 07:21:57 PM »

I am no expert on summer squash, but I have always had the bottom leaves turn yellow, and I just cut them off .  This year the Yellow Straight Neck seemed to start earlier and have more than the zucchini, but the new leaves are a deep green and I just continue to train the growing main stalk and any secondary stalks upward on the netting.  The plants are STILL producing just fine.  They are one of the few crops that seem to be resistant to the root fungus that have wiped out over half of my crops.

Donald1800
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MaryB
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Zone 7, North Central AR


« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2008, 08:09:12 PM »

Thanks, Donald. I'm glad to hear that some of your crops are doing great after your devastating loss this year. We certainly appreciate you sharing all your experiences. This forum is a wonderful tool because of all the information that is passed along.

I've cut several small yellow bottom leaves off the squash in the past but what's happening now is different as the outside leaves are yellowing. Production seems off, considering what it had been, but that may be a fluke. I'll keep an eye on the zucchini and if this continues, I suppose it would be better to cut off the affected leaves, even if they are on the outside of the plant.
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mjb8743
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Posts: 6823


Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State


« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2008, 09:58:31 PM »

Just to back track a bit here but how common is this squash borer and what is the best way to deal with it?  I have met another roof-top farmer who told me his squash/zucchini was going great until the squash borer set it and it killed his plants.  I have some leafs that have been beaten up by the wind but he hinted that I might want to keep an eye out for the squash borer mildew/fungus.  I've included a picture of the zucchini leaves below and wondering if anything looks suspicious.  Also, what the best way to take care of this plant - trim older leaves from the top / spray fungicide - is there any natural fungicide, etc???

I know there's some great experience on this site.  Thanks in advance for your help...



Tyrus,

It seems there's some confusion here regarding 3 separate issues. The squash vine borer does just that. It burrows into the stem close to ground level and the burrowing larvae destroy the internal vascular tissue and cause the whole plant or the invaded runner to wilt and die.

The squash bug is one of the most common and troublesome pests attacking squash and pumpkin plants. Both nymphs and adults suck sap from the leaves and stems, apparently at the same time injecting a toxic substance into the plant causing a wilting known as Anasa wilt of cucurbits. This closely resembles bacterial wilt, a true disease. After wilting, vines and leaves turn black and crisp, and become brittle.

The cucumber beetle (striped, spotted) causes bacterial wilt, squash mosaic virus.

Then there is powdery mildew.

The squash vine borer does not cause mildew/fungus. Depending on the specific problem, there are different controls. Fungicide is one to use regularly as a preventative, but keeping a close eye on the stems looking for signs of 'sawdust' from boring larva and for the other pests will help minimize damage.

Mickie
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111 EBs and growing... so how come there are never enough boxes??
mjb8743
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Posts: 6823


Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State


« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2008, 10:05:48 PM »

Thanks, Donald. I'm glad to hear that some of your crops are doing great after your devastating loss this year. We certainly appreciate you sharing all your experiences. This forum is a wonderful tool because of all the information that is passed along.

I've cut several small yellow bottom leaves off the squash in the past but what's happening now is different as the outside leaves are yellowing. Production seems off, considering what it had been, but that may be a fluke. I'll keep an eye on the zucchini and if this continues, I suppose it would be better to cut off the affected leaves, even if they are on the outside of the plant.

Mary,

Are you having very high temps lately? Maybe the heat is getting to the plant. In any case, I'd start spraying a fungicide regularly to forestall any mildew problems that may be just beginning.

Mickie
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111 EBs and growing... so how come there are never enough boxes??
MaryB
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Posts: 568


Zone 7, North Central AR


« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2008, 08:01:20 AM »

Thanks, Mickie. Yes, we had a week of much higher temps last week. I started spraying a fungicide on Friday before there were any signs of problems. The directions say to spray the plants once a week. Please advise if I need to be spraying more frequently.

I sure appreciate your help!

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mjb8743
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Posts: 6823


Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State


« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2008, 10:17:07 AM »

Mary,

Once a week is fine, but after heavy rains I'd spray again.

Mickie
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111 EBs and growing... so how come there are never enough boxes??
MaryB
Hero Member
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Posts: 568


Zone 7, North Central AR


« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2008, 02:15:38 PM »

Thanks, Mickie. We had heavy rains last night and everything cooled way down. It felt good to us, but not sure about the plants.  Sad  I'll re-apply the fungicide.
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