Ask a Question forum→Light splotches on edge of zucchini leaves

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central New Jersey, USA (Zone 6b)
Jun 3, 2020 7:11 AM CST
So far, these splotches are on 2 of my 7 zucchini plants. What are they? What should I do?

Thanks In advance!

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central New Jersey, USA (Zone 6b)
Jun 3, 2020 10:12 AM CST
I'm hoping that the lack of a response does not indicate something sooo bad you are all afraid to tell me. Smiling
central New Jersey, USA (Zone 6b)
Jun 8, 2020 6:42 AM CST
Update. Here's a photo a week later. I cut off the really bad leaf in the first photo, but I'd love some advice about what is happening.

Thanks in advance!

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canada 4b (Zone 8a)
Jun 8, 2020 7:30 AM CST
It can be hard to tell anything without more context. Your second pictures indicate they are not planted in dirt. That alone is interesting. You did not mention your pH, fertilizer regime, water habits etc. Leaves can easily exhibit similiar symptoms for diverse reasons.
central New Jersey, USA (Zone 6b)
Jun 8, 2020 10:35 AM CST
The plants are in an 8' wide by 3' high by 2' deep box I built on my deck. A bench seat overhangs the front and slopes slightly away from the box, so only about 2/3 of the soil surface is exposed to rain.

The box is on feet to keep it off of the surface of the deck, and has 20 or so 1 cm holes drilled in the bottom. It is filled with dirt, the top 5-6 inches being newly-installed "vegetable garden soil".

The box previously had trumpet vines in it, growing up a trellis. The vines didn't survive a recent cold winter, and I periodically remove some of the dead vine, break it into small pieces, and drop it into the box.

After planing the zucchini seeds, I initially watered thoroughly every few days. When I saw the leaves not looking right, I thought the culprit might be over-watering. I scaled back, but the rain took over. We are finally getting some sunny days, so the soil will be dry by tomorrow for the first time in 3-4 weeks.

Rainfall in the area tends to be pretty acidic, but the soil at the surface is new. Thus, I would think the pH should be pretty close to the pH of the store-bought soil. I haven't tested it, though.

[Last edited by NJLonghorn - Jun 8, 2020 10:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Zoƫ
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Jun 8, 2020 3:29 PM CST
NJL-the little oval leaves at the base were the seedling leaves and will naturally wither and die. No problem there. Overall, those zukes don't look too bad. The pale white splotches could be powdery mildew, a common fungal infection, and water is the main culprit, especially if it splashes from the soil onto the leaves. For starters, cut back watering and definitely mulch that soil to reduce splash. Also, you mentioned an overhanging bench seat. Poor air circulation can contribute to fungal the bed getting plenty of sun and air movement? Be careful not to handle the leaves in wet conditions.

That one leaf with the crispy edge that you said you removed looks like it could have been splashed with a liquid fertilizer and then exposed to sun; any chance of that?

There are anti-fungal products available but most, if I remember correctly, are preventative rather than curative and in any case, if it is powdery mildew, it doesn't look like an advanced case. Mulching, drying out, and hopefully some sun might take care of it. The new growth looks healthy. Give it a bit of time and see what happens. If it progresses, check back with more photos Crying
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.

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