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Zucchini & Squash problems

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Trying to grow zucchini and squash in my garden but something keeps eating my plants....trying to get to the bottom of it now.

Besides and insect problem which I am treating now... All of my plans are getting buds and then they flower...after the flowers open fully, by the next day something has eaten the whole flower and all is left is the stem it was on...

I have already have a wire fence around my garden, so that should prevent things like rabbits. My next step is to put some cloth over the top of the garden overnight since that seems to be when it happens.

Any other suggestions ?
post #2 of 21
My wife is a gardening consultant I will ask her later, but I seem to recall something about a cutter moth or those dam oak worms that fall on silk threads. when they metamorph they eat alot of flowering plants come late spring.


Some pics would help
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #3 of 21
yeah totally wrong about those moths and oak worms according to my wife, no surprise. She did however say that a variety of things could be causing flower issues, from bugs to heat or just lack of pollination. some pics would still be nice. also if the flowers are disappearing at night, the wife says get out there at night and see whats running around in your yard. we have skunks patrols from 9-12 in our immediate yard yard and various critters that patrol wider around the house and property general.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #4 of 21
>>>Trying to grow zucchini and squash in my garden but something keeps eating my plants....trying to get to the bottom of it now.

if something is literally munching the plants to nubs, that sounds like rodent/rabbits and the like.

some more specific info would help. geographical location?

squash is susceptible to the "squash borer" - it makes a hole in the vine stem near the soil line, lays eggs, the larva eat the plant from the inside out, and the plant eventually falls over dead.

any number of flying insects are fond of munching on flowering parts. the good news is, not to worry, zucchini just makes fruit like you'll never need . . .
post #5 of 21
Are you finding dead flowers on the ground? If so, you might not have a problem at all.

Soft-skin squashes generally set only male flowers at first. These abort and drop off. Then, after a few weeks, both male and female flowers set, and fertilization can take place.

I suggest you examine your plants to determine whether or not they're setting females yet. If not, you don't have a problem.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 21
I'd suspect mice. Pretty hard to protect plants from them. Maybe some cloth netting over the top - although they'll find a way in. Might try weighting down the edges of the netting with timber to get a seal over the plants. Try a baited mouse trap one night and see what it brings.... gruseome I know, but if you want them plants, it will help find out what's getting at them.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I reinforced my fence, and put netting over the top. I also piled dirt around the bottom edges of the fence. I went out this morning and a bunch of the zucchini flowers were eaten again. The flowers affected seem to be male, I can see more buds in the works... but its not the just flowers on the ground, they are just gone completely...all is left is the stem it was on.. and today one of the flowers looked half eaten.

maybe mice...I might try a trap.
post #8 of 21
look at the edge of the bite. How big is the bite taken out or does it look a bun7ch of little bites (mice, rats, bunnies) or a single bite (deer, sheep). see any droppings in the area?
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll take a look when I go outside. I live in a pretty much residential area and have a fenced in back yard. We don't have deer and such around here. It is more possible to be a mouse, rat, rabbit, etc.
post #10 of 21
I have had problems with birds eating the flowers and tender growth. We have Thrashers and they are murder on newly sprouted seeds, take them right out of the ground.
post #11 of 21
It sounds like, as mentioned above that rodents are probarbly to blame. But dont ever under-estimate the appetite of slugs and snails.

My courgettes (Zucchini) are still desperately trying to hang onto their leaves. Whole leaves disappear overnight. Tried every humane method i can think of. Even vaseline ( I wont use poisons) I had 2 options left.
Last night i decided the old fashioned method was worth a go. So out i went with a torch after dark and caught me 35 assorted slugs and snails. I'll do the same later tonight. In the meantime, i've heard they like raw porrige oats. They gorge on them, swell up and burst?? i'm not sure about that but i'm giving it a go.

I found 14 of the little bu*&^ers on my rocket patch last night, virtually destroyed it
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #12 of 21
>>slugs & snails

setting a shallow tin of stale beer flush with the soil is another good trap. they love the smell of yeast, fall in and drown. it is necessary to clean it out daily....

also, diatomaceous earth (agricultural grade - not swimming pool stuff) is non-toxic but has lots of sharp edges. sprinkle on / around - the slugs/snails glide over the d.e. it cuts up their tootsies and they "bleed" to death.

ducks/geese - they love 'em....
post #13 of 21
I actually bought custom made slug traps. 4 of them. filled them with beer and up to a point they worked. Only when i came to lift them to empty them one time, underneath were a multitude of snails from babies to mammoths. Theyd obviously been breeding right under the traps. That made it personal.

I've tried egg shells, Covering scrunched up tin foil with vaseline, Organic goo and copper strips. Its a jolly good job i'm not growing stuff for the money cos i'd be well out of pocket. But i do love to see my efforts bearing fruit.

I'm all the more proud of my efforts, because i keep the garden organic.Except when hubby's home on leave. He wont budge on the weedkiller issue.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #14 of 21
from 2nd hand reports, the "copper strip foil" is not especially effective. if you can find copper screening material, a 4 inch/10 cm wide strip is very effective when firmly pinned down to the soil except:

- needs to be acid cleaned to keep it shiny - any corrosion / patina inhibits the galvanic / electric shock effect...

- if the buggers are already inside the strip..... why would they want to leave? <g>

I've personally found beer in cat food cans extremely effective - but the 'clean out daily' is a must - first the smell of their little slimy bodies decaying deters others and second the beer (which I must add was only sometimes 'stale') loses it's yeast aroma.

>>breeding under the cans - oh dear, that would set a body into orbit! not seen that but can well imagine.....
post #15 of 21
get a garden torch. That'll get a man out burning away the weeds instead of using pesticides.
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post #16 of 21
Just as well he cant read this, he needs no encouragement. He'd be off to the hardware outlet sooner than you could say man toys

At least this year he can tell i'm serious about my garden. I've been too busy to pay it the attention i'd like in past years. So he's building me a proper greenhouse when he's on leave in july. We 1/2 knocked down an out building a few years ago. but left the concrete floor and 3ft of wall. He's building it with treated wood and "plastic glass"? I'm so excited. I know it'll be well done. He put my work kitchen together in another outbuilding and made a fab job of it. I'd send photos if i could figure how to


I'm now going out 3 times after dark and picking up sooooomany slugs and snails. Its spooky out there so i make it quick. Hopefully they'll stop coming soon but i have my doubts
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
A greenhouse? Nice! Your very lucky :-)
post #18 of 21
right. now look, i'm as stingy as the next scot (cause I am) so lemme tell ya how to make that beer worthwhile as a pesticide. Use a nice big trash can lid and build the soil up around the sides. The same can of beer will attract alot of snails and slugs, and even if they didn't get to jump in the "pool" they get picked up off the beach:p

and one day I may visit, ya wouldn't want me talkin about your mans missed chance with a garden torch, now would ya miss?:D

best o' luck
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #19 of 21
I know cheftomny
The building isnt huge.7ft by 16ft. but its going to look unique when its finished. It used to be a lean to, built in a corner against 2 8ft high stone walls,and we have to keep them intact. they've been there 140 years and one separates our garden from next doors.

I was checking out your recipes. All my favourite food. So i was about to print them off when i thought maybe they're in the book you're giving away for free. Are you reallygiving them away? and are the recipes in it?


Ok Gunnar, I'm giving the beer one more go. I'll need some kind of lid to stop the dog from supping it. (he's a blooming alchy)

Be good to see you anytime. Say the word. Just dont aid and abet my husbands power tool addiction ok
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #20 of 21
I was looking online for things to do with slugs n snails. Veeeery interesting. Totally into the home grown escargot. Bit labour intensive but giving it a vague interest

Slug-wise, fritters made with minced, mucus free slugs seems rather popular.

A british chef, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall,( who I admire greaty for his successful campaigning towards doing away with battery farming) Has a programme on uk food network. He decide to do something culinary with his slugs and found that getting rid of the mucus wasnt enough. he had to get rid of it's puddings too, then mince, add to batter and deep fry. the result was disapointing and defo not worth the trouble.

Lets just anihalate the little buggers eh?
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #21 of 21
Quick update. Day 6 of after dark hunting and i've only found 3 teeny weeny slugs and zero snails. My courgettes are rallying and growing substantial leaves at last. Seems i'll get a crop this year afterall.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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