Week 17: Sick Zucchini

I’m just coming off of a 10 day heat wave into a little rain and another 2 day heat advisory with temps climbing into the 100s. The irrigation system seems to keep my plants thriving with the exception of the zucchini.

I have two plants and one is looking even sorrier than the other…yellow droopy leaves just waiting to drop. I spy some flowers and another zucchini growing at the base but I’m not sure how long this will survive. Unsure if this is a disease, bug or due to all the heat. Please share your thoughts… These plants did produce about 6 – 8 zucchini so far. 😦


In other news…it’s almost tomato and cucumber time and I can’t wait!! Remember when I thought the cucumber plant had died and planted another one just in case?? Well they both lived and are THRIVING. So much so that it’s officially allowed to grow out of the garden:

Growing OVER the fence

That round thing in the second picture is a cucumber. Strange they’re growing round, but maybe they’ll get longer soon.

Tomatoes are everywhere but not yet ripe. I’m sure that they’ll all ripen at once.

Cherry Bombs

I think I’m going to have to really get into making sauce and freezing it with these bad boys:

Roma-nce Tomatoes lookin’ good.

The peppers are still producing both the Ziggy Star or Hungarian Wax, Major Tom or Sweet Bell Peppers, and the hot mix only recently began producing as well.

I leave you with an image of my woolly garden. The tomatoes are reaching over the stakes!


About VeggieKim

I am a twenty-something gal living in Central Pennsylvania aspiring to have my own edible garden. Follow me thru my trials and tribulations as I journey from seed to harvest.
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7 Responses to Week 17: Sick Zucchini

  1. Jodie says:

    Bad, good news?! Your cucumber is a lemon cucumber. It will stay yellow and round, but I hear they are fantastic in salads and for pickling!

    • VeggieKim says:

      Mind = Blown!!! That must be what the “bush cucumber” variety was.

    • catbird says:

      I work at the Stauffers in Lebanon and we have had several customers question what it was they bought in place of a cucumber. Apparently, the plants were labelled incorrectly, and if you bought a bush cucumber at Stauffers, you may actually have gotten a round lemon cucumber.

  2. Davemay says:

    Unless you planed some kind of Japanese or Mexican variety (which sometimes have pumpkin or melon-like shapes) that malformed fruit is a surefire sign of nutrient deficiency and/or disease. While heirloom varieties can sometimes have inconsistent fruit shapes they still will generally look the way you’d expect. I’d suggest testing your soil (you can probably find an inexpensive do-it-yourselfer at Stauffers?) and then fertilizing to correct the deficiency. Many people make the mistake of applying general fertilizers across the board regardless of the plant type (self-included) and this is especially true with small home or urban gardeners whose plants are bunched closely together. The reality is that each plant has slightly different needs and can be harmed by too much of something it doesn’t need. Add that to the fact that plants have different needs at different stages of their growth, and it becomes pretty complex. A way to further diagnose your cuke issue would be to check for mottling or splotchy patterns on the leaves. Cucumbers and zucchinis are prone to the same mosaic viruses, which can be spread easily in warm, damp conditions such as rain followed by intense heat. Your zucchini photo looks like either a mosaic virus or some kind of bacterial wilt. Unfortunately you cannot save them and they should be pulled out and destroyed. It hurts to remove a producing plant, especially if it has a blossom or small fruit on it, but it may save the rest of your crop. It’s important to destroy the plant -do not compost it, as the virus may remain in the soil even through the heat of the compost process. Also, do not plant the zukes or cukes in the same place where you’ve had the virus in the past. Lastly, it looks like your tomatoes are very close together and the growth toward the bottoms of the plants is very thick. I would strongly suggest that you prune away the lower growth very agressively (any growth below the lowest fruit bearing branch) and that you continually nip the tip. Most tomatoes sold to home gardeners are indeterminate varieties and will continue growing until killed by frost, and as long as they are putting energy into growing, they will be giving less energy and sugar to making fruit. You will get less produce and what you do get may be malformed or have little flavor. I speak from sad experience as one who has had disastrous tomato crops in the last two years while trying to figure out the whole urban gardening thing! Oh, and pick up a good copper-based fungicide (bordeaux spray) and spray your plants liberally. That will protect your tomatoes from bacterial wilts and tomato blights, which are often not far behind the cucumber mosaic viruses as they are caused by the same conditions. Have no fear! It may sound like impending doom, but if your plants are healthy now then there is still plenty of time for good prevention measures. Cheers!

    • VeggieKim says:

      Thanks for the feedback Dave. I talked to my Stauffers homies, and they said that the grower messed up on the cucumber labeling and we didn’t get bush cucumbers, instead we got Lemon cucumbers. A fellow employee bought from the same batch as me. So Jodie was right. I’ll pick one tonight for full inspection and taste testing.

      The zucchini…a Greenhouse guru said to ease up on the watering so remove some irrigation and if that doesn’t help we’ll remove it in fear of a disease and throw away.

      The tomatoes…we are going to spray them with something to prevent blossom end rot this week so hopefully they won’t catch the blight. I do understand they’ve grown into dramatic proportions close together which could invite disaster. Hopefully we can tame it by pruning.

      Gardens are all consuming!! lol

  3. Pingback: Week 20: Making Tomato goodies! | Kim's Second Veggie Garden

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