This year was my second attempt to grow zucchini. I’m beginning to think it’s not meant to be. The zucchini got planted on May 29th, and within 5 days, it wasn’t looking so good.
The leaves were turning yellow, and I was getting concerned.
So I did some research online and got nowhere. There were so many reasons, I didn’t know what to do. Too much water, not enough water. Lack of nutrients, lack of sun to lower leaves. Stress from being transplanted. This didn’t help to narrow it down much. I did use some Bonnie Plant Herb & Vegetable fertilizer twice a week, starting a week or so after the garden was planted.
The next issue I had was the blossoms falling off before they even opened.
I did research on this, and I pretty much got nowhere. I read in many instances that it’s blossom drop from lack of pollination. But they never seemed to open so I could determine if the blossoms were male or female. They just fell off while still closed.
However, I did just discover this thread on GardenWeb.com, and now I am wondering if the blossoms did indeed open up in the early morning and close later in the day. Next year, I will make an effort to check earlier in the morning. I also noticed a lot of people commenting in different forum threads regarding this issue stating the blossoms that were falling off were attached to small baby zucchini that would then turn yellow and fall off. I never once saw a baby zucchini attached to any of the blossoms that fell off my 2 zucchini plants. Mine never got that far. I’ve also read that female flowers will fall off if the plant doesn’t think it can manage the fruit. My plants were rather small, so that might have been a possibility.
By June 19th, I’d lost one of the zucchini plants. The other one seemed to be doing okay though. Still no opening of the blossoms.
On June 26th, I noticed my remaining zucchini plant was leaning some, but I thought this was normal since the plant can get rather heavy. In hindsight, this is probably when the vine borers started destroying the plant.
Three days later on June 29th, it looked like this.
You can see the evident “saw dust” looking stuff at the base of the plant, so I lost this one to vine borers. I was not about to cut the vines open to verify it. The saw dust looking stuff was enough for me.
This morning before starting on this post, I decided to Google the vine borer moth because I wanted to see what the adult version looked like. You can check out this page on the University of Minnesota’s website for more information and a picture.
I had unknowingly taken a picture of this moth back on June 2nd – on my zucchini squash plant. I had planned on posting it to Facebook to ask if anyone knew what type of bug it was but never did. I did a Google image search but came up with nothing. And now I know. I also know to check the plant for moth eggs next year when I attempt zucchini yet again.
So, both of my zucchini plants are dead this year. Now that I have more knowledge, at least I hopefully won’t lose them to vine borers next year. I still need to figure out the yellowing of the leaves issue though. I think I should have started fertilization a lot sooner since I have read that squash plants are heavy feeders, so that’s the first step with next year’s plants.