AMKuska's 2020 Garden

flowerbug

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Unfortunately I ended up ripping out the two outdoor squash due to powdery mildew. There's a zuke that's got fruit on it that I'm trying to keep healthy with neem. The pumpkin fruited, but all of the fruits turned yellow and dropped off. I tried hand pollinating one, but either it was too late or that's not the problem, as it is also turning yellow and dropping off. I just have no luck with any kind of vining fruiting plant :(
i've had some seasons where i didn't think any of the squash were going to take and then all at once they did. this year it was the melons. they bloomed a lot before some finally were fertilized. i know it isn't a lack of bees, but it could have been how hot it was. even with powdery mildew affecting some leaves i've still managed crops, but i'm not sure how widespread your infection was there. this is really strange to me since i have never had any issues with getting plenty of pickling cucumbers to set fruits all along even during the hot and dry spell we had (but yes i did have to keep them watered).

the squash this season were not stellar, but they did ok. the buttercup squash i was really hoping to give me more seeds looks like i may have had one or two very tiny squash so i don't know how the seeds are doing in there until we cut them up for cooking.
 

AMKuska

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It's something I'm personally doing wrong, and if you have any thoughts @flowerbug I'd be ever so grateful. I know its me because my neighbors are unloading their various different squash on me on all sides. :idunnoAll of them have cucumbers, zucchini, and butternut squash that are just fine.

It happens to any kind of vining fruiting plants. I can't grow pumpkins, melons, zucchini, butternut squash, etc. outside. It does just fine in my greenhouse. If I put it outside it does poorly. When I get fruit from one of these plants, it's only 1-2 and very small.

PH on my soil is neutral.

I don't believe powdery mildew is the entirety of the problem because the one that is dropping fruit hasn't had any. I started spraying it with neem oil to protect it from the diseased ones on the other side of the yard. Powdery mildew happens on all of my vining fruiting plants every year though, and it is a constant battle to keep it off.

I'll take a bunch of photos in just a minute. Please do tell me what you think.
 

AMKuska

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@flowerbug and heck, @baymule and @digitS' what do you think?

IMG_7100[1].JPG


This is a fruit from the plant, but it's very likely to drop off. It's turning yellow just like the others.

IMG_7101[1].JPG

This is the plant itself, it seems fine and healthy to me.
IMG_7103[1].JPG

This is a dropped off fruit.
IMG_7111[1].JPG

This is a diseased zucchini. I ripped up all the other plants.
IMG_7108[1].JPG

One of the fruits on it already yellowing. It will drop off soon.
IMG_7110[1].JPG

Fruit that hasn't yellowed yet--but it will. :(
 

digitS'

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Do you think that the flowers are being fertilized in the greenhouse but, maybe, not outside, AMKuska ? And, why might that bee ?

I have found neem to be rough on plants. This is especially true with bright sunlight. I will use it against aphids, however.

And, neem was ineffective for mildew when used for that problem. An organic alternative, I haven't tried but have often pulled zucchini by late summer because of mildew. And yes, that mildew is very common in my vining plants of all sorts.

Steve
 

AMKuska

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@DigitS - My backyard is swarming with bees all the time though. I'm capturing at least 3 a day and booting their little butts right back out of my house when ever I leave the door open. It's possible they're here but busy with the geraniums, but you'd think they'd have at least a minute for them when my neighbors squash less than 20 feet away are growing like crazy :idunno
 

thistlebloom

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Not an expert vine veg grower by any means but had a few thoughts..
What kind of sun exposure do they get, is there good air circulation and how do you water and what time of day?
As far as the PM goes I've had good success with using the summer horticultural oils to prevent it on landscape plants. They are organic and fine on edibles.

edit to add- Here's a link to an oil I've used and also lower down on the page is a short vid on PM.
 
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thistlebloom

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Also, powdery mildew can overwinter on plant debris and soil, so you should be proactive in the spring when you plant out with a good spray of HO.
( Obviously follow the label directions if there are restrictions as to plant maturity etc. ;))
 

AMKuska

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I’ve tried growing in 3 locations. One is partial shade, the other two are full sun.

In one area they have a drip system. The other two get watered with a hose at the stem.

I’ve no idea about air flow. The house certainly blocks the air in one area, but the other two are in the middle of nowhere.

I am excited to try the HO! I’d love a game plan to get rid of it.
 

flowerbug

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full sun, lots of compost mixed in the soil, some clay to hold nutrients, irrigation may not be getting enough water deep enough. i water every few days but i water enough to make sure it soaks in well.

i don't fight powdery mildew here, it is on certain flowers and plants and since we aren't going to get rid of those it will always be around. for some reason it does not bother the cucumbers much nor does it always get the squash plants, but i have had some seasons where it does some damage, but not enough to ruin the entire crop. the melons this season did well but towards the end the vines were certainly looking ragged from some kind of disease, but by the end of their life many plants can look poor but still have a crop which is why i often won't treat things because that is just a part of the life-cycle.

is your water salty?
 

AMKuska

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full sun, lots of compost mixed in the soil, some clay to hold nutrients, irrigation may not be getting enough water deep enough. i water every few days but i water enough to make sure it soaks in well.

i don't fight powdery mildew here, it is on certain flowers and plants and since we aren't going to get rid of those it will always be around. for some reason it does not bother the cucumbers much nor does it always get the squash plants, but i have had some seasons where it does some damage, but not enough to ruin the entire crop. the melons this season did well but towards the end the vines were certainly looking ragged from some kind of disease, but by the end of their life many plants can look poor but still have a crop which is why i often won't treat things because that is just a part of the life-cycle.

is your water salty?
I think the soil may be too fast draining in one of the locations. The other 10x20 gets 12+ bags of compost every year, and I recently started fish fertilizer during the growing season which really seemed to help with stunting, a problem I had previously.

No, the water it's not salty. I do wonder if @digitS' is onto something with the bees. When I looked up poor pollination, that's exactly what appears to be happening, but why would the bees stick their little noses up at my squash when there are so many bees (of different species even) absolutely everywhere in my yard? Why hop the fence and go to the neighbors squash instead? Why pollinate the cherry tree but not the cucumbers? It's just so puzzling.
 

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