Zucchini & cuccumber are weak!

heres my problem: I just planted a zucchini and cuccumber plant, both of which have some holes in their leaves and are just down-right weak looking. If the holes are due to bugs, please list some good poisens that won't go into my plants and how to make my plants stronger.
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how about putting some compost around them and then feeding some cow or horse manure or aged chicken manure,,then put your mulch all around them and let them spread over that..another thing u could put around them is worm castings..u got a worm farm maybe...that stuff is great..or u can buy it ..vermicast and stand back and watch them go...

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BenGman Wrote:

plenty of tomatoe plant feed, or if you can get it, sulphate of potash It feeds the plants and will make them stronger and more resistant t pests. Check that it isn't slugs or snails eating your plants, the bes time to get them is at night. spray with mild detergent and water if yo think you need an insecticide. Chemical insecticides mean your plant will no longer be 'organic' and they are also bad for the environmen and nature. Happy Gardening
-- pineapple
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On Mon, 23 May 2005 22:30:56 +0000, pineapple

I'm having zucchini problems, too. When the zucchini fruit starts to come out they are yellow, get to about an inch long and start to rot. Sigh. Same problem last year. My soil is very much clay so I dig in commercial top soil. Other than that I've never given them anything special. I don't know if that's the problem or if this is a watering problem. Sue
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I've found the following to be true about cucumbers and zucchini:
1) They don't like heat. 2) They like multiple waterings every day. 3) They like a rich soil which holds the water content pretty well (might mean putting some small wood chips into the soil). Composted soil seems to work very well. You probably can mix your clay with soil and let it compost, maybe 2 parts soil to 1 part clay. I'm not familiar with growing things in clay so you'll just have to make a best guess at it unless someone else comes along and suggests something else. 4) The hotter it is, the more water they need. 5) They grow well in 90% shade here in Florida where they only get some direct sunshine in the morning (about 1 to 1.5 hours worth at most, the rest of the shade comes from an avacado tree).
Hope that helps.
-- Jim Carlock Please post replies to newsgroup.
On Mon, 23 May 2005 22:30:56 +0000, pineapple

I'm having zucchini problems, too. When the zucchini fruit starts to come out they are yellow, get to about an inch long and start to rot. Sigh. Same problem last year. My soil is very much clay so I dig in commercial top soil. Other than that I've never given them anything special. I don't know if that's the problem or if this is a watering problem. Sue
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On Sun, 29 May 2005 20:08:34 GMT, "Jim Carlock"

They get a lot here. My 2nd year they did really well (as only zucchini can - my friends were starting to lock the doors and draw the curtains when I came up the walk toting a bag). Not much I can do about the heat.

Really? I thought my problem might be *over* watering.

Clay is really awful stuff. One problem I have is that my gentleman friend is a farmer (cotton and wheat). He just doesn't take my gardening very seriously ("It's not like your livelihood depends on this little garden.") and doesn't understand why I get so stressed when things go wrong. I keep wanting to put more "good stuff" in and he compares it to his farm and how little he (and all the farmers) has to add. For one thing his soil is better out in the country.

I've never monitored how much sun they're getting. Certainly more than 10%. I'm going to try the increase in the water - just went out and turned it on.

Thanks for your advice!! Sue
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Well, let me tell you where I'm coming from. I'm thinking along the lines that clay holds moisture a little better than sand. And I said alot of water because the water drains through the sand here, so the soil the cucumbers are growing in here dries up pretty quick.
So here are my thoughts. If you've got some that already planted dig up the some of the clay around the top (the top soil), mix in some of that composted cow manure dirt from Home Depot, chop up a banana peel, mix in some dead dried up leaves if you have some, mix in some coffee grounds and then apply that as the new top soil.
Some other things I'm doing that seems to work really well, is I dig up some sand every so often, put it in a bucket, mix in some of that composted dirt, put in coffee grounds from used coffee filters, mix in some sphagnum peat every so often. It's still sandy but it's a heck of alot better than plain old sand and the sphagnum peat seems to help the water retention properties. Dead leaves and buds that falling off an avocado tree are a real blessing, and perhaps you can do something similar with whatever type of tree grows around your house. I use the needles and blossoms that fall off jacaranda trees here.

Not sure what you're meaning there. :-) They're afraid of you? <g>
The farmers have tractors that they use to plow the land and turn the soil? :-) So if you're clay is really tough and thick, make sure you turn it and mix in some dirt and dead leaves and composted banana peels and coffee grounds. I think the clay will start to work itself into a better soil as the sand here is doing for me. Turning the clay will help.
I take back my statements about the heat and sunlight. Silver-leaf white fly and a hurricane did my cucumbers in last year. I guess I'm thinking along the lines that the heat and sunlight stressed them, but maybe I'm inproperly thinking so.
Hope that helps.
-- Jim Carlock Please post replies to newsgroup.
On Sun, 29 May 2005 20:08:34 GMT, "Jim Carlock"

Really? I thought my problem might be *over* watering.

Clay is really awful stuff. One problem I have is that my gentleman friend is a farmer (cotton and wheat). He just doesn't take my gardening very seriously ("It's not like your livelihood depends on this little garden.") and doesn't understand why I get so stressed when things go wrong. I keep wanting to put more "good stuff" in and he compares it to his farm and how little he (and all the farmers) has to add. For one thing his soil is better out in the country.

I've never monitored how much sun they're getting. Certainly more than 10%. I'm going to try the increase in the water - just went out and turned it on.

Thanks for your advice!! Sue
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On Mon, 30 May 2005 02:24:15 GMT, "Jim Carlock"

Thanks for the suggestions. Does this mean I have to start drinking coffee? Ewwww. I'm afraid I'm incredibly ignorant in these garden matters so I ask: Do the coffee grounds and banana peels add nutrients or are they just to make the soil more water retentive? Do you have to worry about adding some type of tree detritus that might add something bad to the soil?

Only when I get in a temper fit. A force to be reckoned with. <G>

The only sand I can come up with here is expensive "play" sand.

Thanks. Now, who do I know who drinks coffee? Hmmmm. Sue
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Oh, I guess you can use orange peels and unused green stalks and tea. I've been mixing in some watermelon rinds and such lately. A cheap blender tends to help alot. I've had pretty good luck doing this and mixing it into a bucket of sand. It was almost pure sand last year and now I've got some nicer soil in various areas now.

Coffee grounds add magnesium and some other things, I think magnesium is the big bonus from coffee grounds. Banana peels I've heard add nitrogen and potassium. I've always known that bananas were a high source of potassium but somewhere I read that it's a high source of nitrogen as well... browse down through the list of things at the following link... I'm not sure how much potassium the peel contains... but there's some good stuffs in it...
http://www.mastercomposter.com/ref/orgmat2.html

:-) The way I think of it... the trees were here doing what they do before I ever came along, before man ever came along. It's the way it's been for thousands of years, probably hundreds of thousands of years. I had to look up "tree detritus". :-) I've noticed that avocado detritus (from the buds and dead leaves, all the leaves fall off the tree) adds something. It helps. There might be some specific plants or tree detritus to not use... but you'll have to do a search through Google to figure that out. Just type in the name of the tree or plant and add the word "detritus" or "compost". I tend to try to look at more than one link to get an idea about what's up. You'll end up browsing through some garbage, but it'll at least give you an idea of what's up.

I wasn't suggesting sand for you. :-) I tried to state that when I water, the "sand" is dry again in a about 90 minutes (unless it's got some other things mixed in it to help retain the moisture).

Supposedly people go around and pick up coffee grounds from Star- bucks coffee shops. I imagine you can go around to other places and do something similar as well.
Hope that helps.
-- Jim Carlock Please post replies to newsgroup.
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Jim Carlock said:

Coffee grounds add nitrogen, potassium, and trace nutrients. Despite their color they are a 'green' compost ingredient.
Worms seem to love coffee grounds.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2005/Apr/08/bz/bz03p.html
Thanks Pat. I've associated coffee with magnesium for some reason... and I'm reading that consumption causes a loss of magnesium in the human body, and magnesium is required for calcium processing. Your statements made me do a doubletake on what I mentioned.
Thanks for the comments about coffee being a "green" compost as well.
-- Jim Carlock Please post replies to newsgroup.
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wrote:

Try a regular commercial gravel pit. Just go there and ask if you can get a few buckets of sand; often they'll give it to you. At the least, it'll cost much less than "play" sand from the store. ("Clean" sand was about $12/yd here last I checked, but unwashed sand was $3/yd.)
~REZ~
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wrote:

That sounds like blossom end rot.
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Any idea what causes it and what I can do about it? Sue

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I'm sorry I didn't add that info. You're best bet is to do a Google search on blossom end rot and zucchini (otherwise you'll get mostly tomato info). Lots of info. One place says "Blossom end rot is a telltale sign of poor pollination, generally due to bad weather. Cold slows bees down and limits the number of male flowers the squash plant can put out, hence no pollen on the female flower, hence no viable fruit." And goes on to say that they have enough other squash on the same plant that make it and that's been my experience also. A few squishy ones next to the ones that are growing fine.
http://www.faultline.org/place/2002/09/zucchini.html
Several others say it's a calcium uptake problem. I always add some calcium when I have the problem. For very fast results, you can buy some "blossom end rot" something or other at the garden center or boil up some crushed egg shells on your stove and pour the cooled liquid around the plants. I find it usually works but it smells awful when it's cooking. Good luck! LJ_in_BC
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