Ask a Question forum: What is wrong with my zucchini? And I found an insect egg sac?

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Name: Dawn
Lexington, TX (Zone 8b)
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dmmcnair
Jun 8, 2015 11:48 AM CST
I have a zucchini in a 5 g bucket. Was doing well, and then we got bombarded with leafhoppers. Yay. This was a plant bought at Home Depot I think. It was doing fine, actually have 2 zucchinis growing on it, but all of a sudden the leaves are turning yellow and browning. I'm working on getting rid of the leaf hoppers...very hard to do. Got some neem oil, got insecticidal soap. They won't go away. I know yellowing of leaves can be several different problems, but I'm so new to this that it's all just confusing me!

Here are some pics of the leaves.

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And on another note I found these things in the soil of an empty planter. Look like fish eggs. I think they are insect egg sacks or something. I'm guessing that they might be bad. How do I get rid of them? Or should I?

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Dawn
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 8, 2015 3:32 PM CST
The little round spheres might be leftover fertilizer capsules, Dawn. Pick one up with your glove on and squish it between your fingers. If it's empty, that's what it is. If there's goo inside, put some whole ones in a little jar and see what hatches before trying to treat for an unknown beastie. It might be something beneficial!

As to the zucchini leaves, is it only the lowest leaves on the plant that are turning yellow? You've got some good fat stems in those pictures and if the new leaves are still healthy, I think I'd just cut off those yellow leaves and 'wait and see' if any more go. Plants do shed old leaves as they make new ones, and squashes grow so very fast, they can do this quite quickly too.

Bear in mind that growing a heavy feeding plant like squash in a bucket, you need to feed them and water them steadily. They can't reach their roots out into surrounding soil to find more food or water like they could if they were in the ground. As the weather gets hotter, they will need more and more water. Don't fret if they wilt a little in the heat of the day, but I'd be watering thoroughly both morning and night if they're doing that. So, more watering means you are dissolving the nutrients in the soil faster too, so fertilizer more often may be needed too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." ÔÇôWinston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jun 8, 2015 3:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Dawn
Lexington, TX (Zone 8b)
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dmmcnair
Jun 8, 2015 3:55 PM CST
Thanks! I did cut them off. And another is going yellow...they are low on the stem now that I think of it. The bucket it is in is sub irrigated, no run off, but I did add some mushroom compost today and filled the reservoir and watered from the top. The darn leaf hoppers have me all sorts of paranoid, I guess. LOL

I really wish there was a pic to show what the sacs could be holding. I use peat moss and vermiculite mix, no soil with fertilizer, so it must be a beastie. Guess I'll have to see if it hatches.

Thanks again!
Dawn
Dawn
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 8, 2015 7:11 PM CST
I think the problem could be you're in zone 8b and growing zucchini in a bucket. The plant is most likely stressed from all the heat to the rootzone from the sun hitting the outside of the bucket. Don't get me wrong squash and zucchini like heat but not so much on the roots. Next year plant some in a raised bed or in a garden plot and they will do much better. Stressed & diseased plants are what pests are mainly interested in. it's all natures way of getting rid of the bad to make room for the good. So expect more bug damage if the problem is not fixed. I also noticed a bag in the bucket do you have a way for the water to freely drain from the bucket? The plant could be saying it's drowning and needs air to it's roots. I'm with Elaine on the yellow ball it's probably just a fertilizer prill. Good luck and keep us updated.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 8, 2015 7:37 PM CST
I'll agree with Daniel on growing squash in buckets - they really need more room and less heat to the roots. If you have some garden space where you could plant them out, they may stand a chance of carrying on through the summer like they should.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." ÔÇôWinston Churchill
Name: Dawn
Lexington, TX (Zone 8b)
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dmmcnair
Jun 11, 2015 6:14 PM CST
Thank you! I moved it so that it gets morning sun and afternoon shade. It's doing soooo much better! I added some mushroom compost, and I also drilled holes in the sides to maybe get more air to the roots.

This is a sub irrigated bucket. Water is drawn up from the bottom, instead of me watering from the top. This has saved me lots of water! Just about all of my above ground planters are sub irrigated.
Dawn
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 11, 2015 7:52 PM CST
Good luck Dawn I hope you get some zucchinis for your efforts but some plants just do better in ground. If you got the space I think you'll be alot happier next year if you plant them in the garden rather than in a pot.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 11, 2015 8:11 PM CST
I also think what you have there is a fertilizer or water bead thingy of some sort. These can come in on bagged potting soil, compost, soil that potted plants are in when you buy them, ect.
You might try wrapping your bucket/pot with some aluminum foil to direct sun heat away from it. The roots dislike being hot. Also they do need well draining soil and lots of water.

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