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 Post subject: Did I Kill My Garden?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:19 pm 
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So I'm wondering if I caused this damage to my plants. A couple of days ago I put down some lava sand, green sand and some dry molasses in my vegetable garden and watered it in really well. Two days later all my plants are wilted and look terrible.

It also happens that the last couple of days the temperature has been over 100 degrees. Did I do something wrong or is this a coincidence and the heat is the culprit.

See example below of before and after photo of Squash photos...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Is that squash or zucchini? You have a squash vine borer at work - they take out plants fast.

I have been fighting with some all summer. I take a sharp short knife and a ketchup bottle (the restaurant type with a pointy nozzle) with water, a teaspoon or so of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) like Thuricide and a squirt of dish soap. I first squirt the liquid into the granular area that shows along the stem where the caterpillar has pulverized it, and then I carefully move up the stem a few nodes (past the leaf connections) and slice into it a little lengthwise and stick the point of the bottle through the slice and give the bottle a firm squeeze to push the Bt liquid up the hollow stem. If it reaches the caterpillar it will stop eating and then die. But I've had to do this several times this summer.

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squash-vine-borer[1].jpg [ 72.85 KiB | Viewed 155 times ]


The advice at the site where I got the photo is rather passive - I disturbed the soil incredibly before planting and it didn't keep them away. You just have to be diligent looking for these things, and I use a Bt drench (adding it to some Garrett Juice) and pour it over the base and stems of the plants when they're young trying to knock off the moths and worms before they get started. You can repel some pests, I am told, by grinding up bay leaves and sprinkling it around the plant. I've done that in the past but I forgot this year (and I have a bay tree in the yard!) :(

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:33 pm 
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You are correct -this is Zucchini. I found no evidence of a vine borer insect though. Is it safe to assume the lava sand, green sand and molasses were ok to use in my garden with established vegetable plants?

I'm thinking this incredible heat might be the biggest cause?????

Thanks for the feedback....


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:19 pm 
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Is the producing steadily, or did it drop off production of new fruits? Are there fruits on it that are pollinated but
languishing and rotting on the plant instead of growing fast into typical squash? You have to look at the vine, if
there is any soft spot, prod at it a little and see if it has a granular substance under the surface. Your amendments
didn't hurt the plant. If you sprayed it with something like neem, you can kill a squash, they don't respond favorably
to that product, but in this instance, I'd guess you just haven't seen the eruptions of the damage of borers.

There are other things that can bother zucchini, but that is the most typical one, and this is when they're most active.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:51 am 
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Are they drooping in the early morning or are you looking at them in the heat of the afternoon? It is NORMAL for some plants to droop in the heat of the day to conserve energy and moisture. Look at the plants early or at dusk. If they are upright then, you are fine. If not, dig down a couple of inches and feel the soil. check the moisture. You want to soil to dry a little between deep watering. Water in seaweed once a week also.

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