Are there virus resistant squash seeds? Virus killing my squash!

Hi,
I think there's a virus killing my winter and summer squash. The leaves have yellow spots and they are curling, growth is stunted.
Does anyone know a source of non-gmo virus resistant seeds? Or variety names I can search for that are resistant?
Thanks very much!
Lee G.
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goldtech said:

Infected plants should be removed immediately. Virus can be spread from plant to plant during handling, so thorough cleanup after handling infected plants is neccessary.
If it is Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV), all commercially available cultivars are susceptible. There are no resistant varieties. Some varieties of summer squash with the "precocious yellow" gene are described as resistant, but the "resistance" is only in the sense that the fruit is less likely to show the discoloration typical of the virus.
Winter weeds like chickweed can act as a reservoir for CMV and carry it in their seeds. A number of perennial weeds can act as a reservoir for CMV.
Aphids are the main vector for the virus (early in the season). Aphids are also the vectors for Watermelon Mosaic Virus (WMV), which, like CMV, overwinters in weeds.
Perennial weeds suspected of acting as reservoirs for the viruses mentioned include black nightshade, milkweeds, and some clovers and other legumes.
Controlling aphids and eliminating problematic weeds is your primary defense against these viruses.
Squash Mosaic Virus is seed-born in muskmelons and cucumber beetles carry it (as well as bacterial wilt disease) to other curcurbits.
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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Good information Pat. Since you sound like an extension agent I have another issue for your input.
I use 13-13-13 fertilizer for my vegetable garden and this year I ran into a questionable issue. The bags content lists NPK as 13% each but also sulfur 8% and chlorine 'up to 13%'. No one seemed to know why they started adding these additional components to a 'standard' fertilizer. I e-mailed the question to the manufacturer who forwarded it to the plant manager. The plant manager's response was "Sulfur is being added because of the reduction in it's emission in industrial smokestacks due to lawsuits, and plants need sulfur. The chlorine is the byproduct of preparing muriate of potash. It can be used in vegetable planting but not with tobacco planting".
So my question was answered why it was added to their product but not how it would affect vegetables. Chlorine is usually listed as a plant micronutrient but 'up to 13%' is definitely not 'micro'. And if it is absorbed by tobacco plants is it also absorbed by vegetables? I'm wondering if extension service agents are aware of, or looking into, these changes.
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On Thu, 11 Apr 2013 06:37:11 -0700, Red wrote:

Speculation - the chlorine was probably always in there, but a labeling requirement let you know about it instead of keeping it hidden.
Think of it this way - you don't want pure potassium. Dangerously reactive and probably unusable by your plants. So you get (one possibility) potassium chloride or chlorate - likely hydrated. Or potassium sulfide, or phosphate (perhaps laws against that too).
Some fertilizers have used mining slag with heavy metals. You have to be careful what you're putting into your soil, especially if you're going to be eating from it, or your kids might play in it.
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I checked some previous years labels and some showed sulfur as .5-1% and chlorine at .001% in the fine print. This year it was either vastly increased or the truth was shown. Slag is also a cheap lime source for cotton farmers. Might be why cotton shirts weigh much more than silk ones. :o)
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Red wrote:

You were given a rather rosy view of the situation.
Each ingredient in chemical fertiliser is a salt. So muriate of potash (potassium chloride) is a salt. Every salt has two (at least) parts, in this case the potassium is the desirable part and the chloride is just along for the ride. The chlorine is not a by-product it is an inescapable part of the product as you cannot supply potassium as an element it must be as a salt. If you didn't have potassium chloride as a source of potassium you would probably have potassium sulphate, then you would be getting some more free sulphur instead of chlorine. Most salts used in chemferts are like that, where some of it is not particularly useful to the plant. There are some exceptions such as ammonium phosphate which supplies both N and P but that is rare. In the main the excess chloride or sulphate etc is not specifically harmful. The matter of whether adding salts to the soil overall is harmful is another issue altogether.
The maker did not start adding these things - they were already there. I think you will find that the formulation didn't change but that the maker started to declare all the extra elements that they have no choice but to include.
As for the story about sulphur being added from their smokestack I would be very wary of accepting this at face value and interested to know what else they might scrub out of their pollution that ends up in the fertiliser. Yes plants do need sulphur but it is rare to find a deficiency as it can be supplied in so many ways and it is not used up in huge quantities.
Apparently tobacco is very susceptible to fertiliser burn from muriate of potash but I have never grown it so cannot say. Yes it is very likely that your veges will absorb these chemicals but there is no choice about that. The same applies to organic sources of nutrients. Just because a substance comes out of a chicken's bum doesn't mean it is better than the same thing from a steel vat. The good news is that most of these additions are not harmful in themselves. There are problems with some true by-products, for example gypsum (mainly calcium sulphate) is used as a soil conditioner and a source of calcium. However some gypsum contains small amounts of cadmium (a heavy metal) which is quite harmful and will accumulate in the soil if added often. Read the fine print!
The moral of the story is whether you adhere to "organic" only soil improvement or accept synthetics or a bit of both you need to watch what you are putting into your soil and to evaluate as far as possible the whole situation and what your soil needs rather than blindly add whatever is in fashion or the makers want to sell you.
David
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Red said:

I had a few elective horticulture classes a long time ago, a lot of time gardening, many books on hand and a fast internet connection. Also, I have a particular interest in squash.

What he's saying is that cleaner smokestacks mean less deposition of sulfur in rain and dust, so they have increased the amount they add to their standard fertilizer mix to make up for it, but with an industrial spin on the 'why' of it (lawsuits, due to the Clean Air Act). "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good." Nitrogen and sulfur deposition due to air pollution is bad for natural systems, but agriculture is not a natural system.

Probably because they changed the source of potassium into potassium chloride. Tobacco must particularly sensitive to it.
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goldtech wrote:

No. I've about gotten rid of mosaic virus in my squash by going on a catnip eradication campaign, and spraying/dusting with insecticide at the first sign of cucumber beetles. I think the catnip part was the key, because I seldom get any cucumber beetles, and because the virus usually infected the squash shortly after they started blooming if any catnip was blooming nearby.
Bob
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That probably explains my squash problem. I plant yellow and zucchini squash and the yellow type dies before producing and the zucchini dies after a couple of pickings. I also had been planting nearby wild flowers (+catnip?) to attract bees for pollination and to draw insects out of the garden, but I may well have been providing a storage source for the MV. Our honey bees are gone and other type bees, except for the darn carpenters, are few so I thought an attractant might be beneficial but may be a hindrance.
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Red said:

Do you live where squash vine borers occur? Summer squash (or any of the short-vined 'bush' type winter squash) are extremely vulnerable to them, and will typically go into a rapid decline just when they begin to flower or shortly after. They may show signs of other diseases as they die, but the borers are ultimately responsible for the decline.
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The squash vine borer usually leaves a very visible sign where it bores and I saw none of that. The plant leafs yellowed and died similar to tomato spotted wilt virus. There was some nematode symptoms in some tomato roots but none in the squash roots. My tomato selection this year is mostly VFFN.
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