Trouble growing Zuckinni and Cucumbers

by Greg Jensen
(Parma Ohio cauahoga )

I live in Cleveland Ohio.. Having trouble growing Zuckinni and cucumbers in my home garden. Plant start out OK then when they start to produce the leaves turn yellow and brown and the plants die. Have tried raised beds with all Miracle grow soil results no better.

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Jun 29, 2020
In Containers?
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Squash of all kinds need rich soil, preferably with some sand in it. I've even grown zucchini right in the pile of mushroom manure, delivered by a truck. I covered it with plastic to keep the root zone moist, and off it went.

What this looks like to me, in your case, is that the plant ran out of juice. They need a lot more room, as in, a bigger pot. Miracle Grow soil is not the best thing for most vegetables. It seems to be more geared towards hanging baskets of Petunias and other flowers - but you still need to fertilize them.

I think it may be too late to salvage your plant. Once they're this stressed, it's too late to save them.

Learn from this, and try again next year.

This is what I would do; get a really big pot, something like twenty gallon size. Fill the bottom of it with a mix of sand and some kind of manure, maybe steer manure, compost, or mushroom manure. Most of that can be purchased in bags at the garden center or hardware store. Forget the Miracle Grow.

The top several inches could be some kind of mix with a water holding polymer so it's easy to re-wet if it ever dries out too much. Keep the soil moist, water every day if you have to.

Hope this helps get you back on track.

PS: if you want to try an experiment, mix up some compost tea and give it a shot to see how the leaves react. I doubt if it will produce much fruit, but you never know.

More on compost tea here and  here.

Jun 30, 2020
by: Greg

This photo is of one example over the last few years. I have tried raise beds, planting in pots and planting direct in soil. All efforts have resulted in the same yellow dead plants. I think it is some type of pest that is killing them. At first thought it was powder post mildew. Tried treatments for that with no improvement.

Jun 30, 2020
Is it possible?
by: Jacki

Is it possible that this is an ongoing issue in your area? I would ask your local ministry of agriculture extension office. They may be aware of something that I'm not. So sorry you're having this issue.

Sometimes, to get to the bottom of it all, you need to start from scratch, beginning with the source of the seeds you use, or the garden center you get plants from. I would do some experiments, using different amendments like Dolomite lime in one bed, different kinds of soil, and so on. Keep detailed notes as to when you start to see this issue, and how you irrigated, the temperature, etc.

Jun 30, 2020
by: Greg

My local agricultural bureau said there is allot of Cucumber beetle damage in the area. They attack the plants and carry Wilt Disease. They suggested Neem Oil and Pyrethin based sprays. I am going to try that and see if this years plants will survive. Seeds are resistant variety’s from Johnny’s seeds

Jun 30, 2020
Try it!
by: Jacki

By all means try that. There is also some evidence that stressed plants give off some kind of attractant to pest species, so if you can keep the plants healthy and stress free, that will help too.

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