Avatar for AlexNewbie
May 6, 2020 6:33 PM CST

Hi guys, I'm a newbie and have some zucchini and squash in containers. 15 gallon! They were doing great last week and SO quickly they are turning yellow and browning :/. It's super hot here in LA, about 85 degrees. I've been watering every other day about an inch. Am J overwatering? What could be causing :(

Really appreciate the help!
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Last edited by Alexxposton May 6, 2020 6:40 PM Icon for preview
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May 6, 2020 11:01 PM CST
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
How about the rest of the plant, how does it look?
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May 7, 2020 7:45 AM CST
Name: Doug
Texas (Zone 8b)
Not sure if overwatering is the reason they are turning brown, but an inch of water every other day? Whoa! They might be drowning. BTW, in many parts of the country, 85F isn't "super hot". When it's 100F here, I only do half an inch every three days.

But yes, overwatering can cause root rot, and that's what it would look like. Of course, some kind of fungal disease is a possibility. But again, keeping the soil surface overly moist will only encourage that. For mature plants, should always let the soil surface dry out.
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May 7, 2020 8:20 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
Good info from Doug. Thumbs up

Stick your hand down into the soil and see if it's wet. You have drainage holes in your containers, right? Gotta be able to drain.

You might want to invest in a basic moisture meter. They're cheap and simple to use and helps take some of the guesswork out of it. This one includes a pH and light meter along with the moisture meter. I'm not sure how accurate the pH meter part of it is: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Moist... This one is the base, plain-jane type of meter that has been around forever: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Soi...

Either one of them looks like they run around $10 each.

Disease? Downy mildew looks similar but waterlogged plants look similar, too. High humidity and heat can cause disease to be more rampant... Find out really how moist the soil is. I agree with Doug...and inch every other day is a bit much. Normal recommendations on vegetables is an inch per week and a bit more during extreme hot and dry weather. And, like Doug said, 85F isn't "super hot"...not really too terribly hot at all.

Stick your hand down in there and see what you've got.

Now, if you've already been keeping a check on the moisture level with a meter and you're adding water because it's showing "Dry" then you might want to stick the probe in deeper (even dig out a small well so it can reach further down if need be). It could be crispy-dry up top and dripping wet down below. If you've ascertained that it is not too wet then apparently they've acquired some type of disease.

Check the moistness...
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