I'm growing two varieties of zucchini this year and they are finally
starting to take off. I've got one fruit coming on the 'heirloom'
variety we planted from seed, and it is putting out a lot of female
flowers now so I think it will be ok. It looks clean. The other one from
a commercial seed packet seems to have a pest problem.
I'm not sure what I'm looking at. At the base of the plant there is
brown spongy slimy stuff where the leaves and runners branch off the
main plant. Some of the stalks look a little chewed up, but it doesn't
look like borers have hit it yet. Or maybe they have and I just don't
recognize it. My back yard is crawling with bugs of all sorts, it's very
rich in 6 legged life, so I'm not sure which ones I should be looking
for. Or maybe this is not a bug problem?
I looked at several websites that talked about growing zucchini but
haven't seen reference to anything that looks like what I've got. It
almost seems like the plant is rotting. I'd like to save it if I can.
What should I do?
It sounds to me like borers -- has the weather been damp where you are (or,
are you watering frequently)? That would keep the frass wet and encourage
rot to set in.
Here are some images of vine borer damage on squash. Remember,
more sap and moisture might alter the appearance of the damage:
You can try fishing the borer(s) out with a thin, flexible wire with the working
hooked over a little. Or you can inject the stem above the damage with Bt
or beneficial nematodes.
The 'traditional' way of salvaging squash is to slit the vine to get out the
then bury it. This is more practical for vining squash rather than zucchini,
they will root in many places along the vine as it runs.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
Pat Kiewicz wrote:
> Here are some images of vine borer damage on squash. Remember,
Thanks Pat, that is what it looks like. I've never seen borers like this
before. The last time I had them they came in at ground level on the
main rootstalk and the damage was fairly 'dry' in comparison. It has
been pretty wet here this spring, too.
I went and looked at one plant, and sure enough, there was a big white
grub in there, so I squashed it (har har). I'll check and see if I can't
get the other one out and save both plants.
Thanks for your help,
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