Vegetables and Fruit forum: Squash, cucumber, zucchini and melon plants turning yellow

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Name: Kodie
Southern California (Zone 10a)
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Kodiewithak
Jul 18, 2017 2:09 AM CST
Hello all,

Sorry if this is not the correct forum for this, let me know if I need to post this somewhere else.

My pumpkin, squash, melon, zucchini and cucumber plants all seem to be turning yellow. Some are doing better than others, but none of them are the healthy green that I might have expected them to be. They are getting worse as time goes on, but I want to find out if this is fixable or if they are doomed. I live in Southern California and the temperature has been consistently in the 80s and 90s for a while now. The garden gets sun all day until about 4 or 5 in the evening when the trees give it some shade. Each of the plants are in beds which have some compost, manure, native soil and garden soil. The soil pH was about 6.5 when I put the beds together. I have been fertilizing them as directed on the fertilizer package, using Vigoro vegetable fertilizer.

At first I thought that the problem might be that I was over-watering, but after cutting back on watering and measuring the moisture levels daily to keep them from getting soggy, they still seem to be getting worse just as before. They are getting yellower, the vines are getting skinnier and the leaves are getting smaller. Their growth seems to be very slow. The yellowing begins at the stem and works its way out to the leaves until they are completely yellow and shriveled up. I recently added some Ironite fertilizer as well after reading online that this can help plants get back to a healthy green after over-watering, but it does not seem to be making a difference at all.

One of the plants does have a ton of tiny black bugs on the undersides of the leaves, but the rest of the plants do not seem to have any bugs so I don’t think that’s the problem, at least not for all of them.

If anyone knows how to stop this, please let me know. I had the same problem trying to grow pumpkins/squash and cucumbers last year - the plants would turn yellow and wither and either die before producing fruit or would produce one puny fruit and then promptly die afterword. They never grew big vines the way that squash plants are supposed to, they would be very short and sparse with small leaves and would never get much larger than what you might buy at a nursery to transplant. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a case of gardener-error as I am a complete novice at this and have yet to grow a very successful squash plant. Photos are attached. Thank you all in advance for any ideas.

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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jul 18, 2017 12:20 PM CST
Kodiewithak said:Hello all,

Sorry if this is not the correct forum for this, let me know if I need to post this somewhere else.

My pumpkin, squash, melon, zucchini and cucumber plants all seem to be turning yellow. Some are doing better than others, but none of them are the healthy green that I might have expected them to be. They are getting worse as time goes on, but I want to find out if this is fixable or if they are doomed. I live in Southern California and the temperature has been consistently in the 80s and 90s for a while now. The garden gets sun all day until about 4 or 5 in the evening when the trees give it some shade. Each of the plants are in beds which have some compost, manure, native soil and garden soil. The soil pH was about 6.5 when I put the beds together. I have been fertilizing them as directed on the fertilizer package, using Vigoro vegetable fertilizer.

At first I thought that the problem might be that I was over-watering, but after cutting back on watering and measuring the moisture levels daily to keep them from getting soggy, they still seem to be getting worse just as before. They are getting yellower, the vines are getting skinnier and the leaves are getting smaller. Their growth seems to be very slow. The yellowing begins at the stem and works its way out to the leaves until they are completely yellow and shriveled up. I recently added some Ironite fertilizer as well after reading online that this can help plants get back to a healthy green after over-watering, but it does not seem to be making a difference at all.

One of the plants does have a ton of tiny black bugs on the undersides of the leaves, but the rest of the plants do not seem to have any bugs so I don’t think that’s the problem, at least not for all of them.

If anyone knows how to stop this, please let me know. I had the same problem trying to grow pumpkins/squash and cucumbers last year - the plants would turn yellow and wither and either die before producing fruit or would produce one puny fruit and then promptly die afterword. They never grew big vines the way that squash plants are supposed to, they would be very short and sparse with small leaves and would never get much larger than what you might buy at a nursery to transplant. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a case of gardener-error as I am a complete novice at this and have yet to grow a very successful squash plant. Photos are attached. Thank you all in advance for any ideas.

Thumb of 2017-07-18/Kodiewithak/62f88d
Thumb of 2017-07-18/Kodiewithak/38fbf0
Thumb of 2017-07-18/Kodiewithak/f083f4
Thumb of 2017-07-18/Kodiewithak/bb3593
Thumb of 2017-07-18/Kodiewithak/4849ef
Thumb of 2017-07-18/Kodiewithak/9da29c
Thumb of 2017-07-18/Kodiewithak/16b311




Oh my, those plants surely are doomed and will not recover. Sorry, but I don't know why this has happened.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
Jul 18, 2017 12:45 PM CST
Concur, My first thought would be a soil borne disease.
Name: Kodie
Southern California (Zone 10a)
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Kodiewithak
Jul 18, 2017 3:05 PM CST
Any ideas for future prevention? This happens every time I plant squash and such, does that mean it's my soil that's the problem, so I basically can't grow squash because they will die when exposed to my soil?

I don't know if that's it for sure though, because I brought home some transplant squash plants from a nursery recently to try and make up for some of my dead squash plants (instead of starting over from seed). They have been kept very far away from the garden and are still in pots but they are doing the same thing as the plants in the garden now, turning yellow and puny. They definitely have not been exposed to the other plants or my soil. What's going on?
Thank you in advance for any help.
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
Jul 18, 2017 3:35 PM CST
It does look like and overwatering situation at first glance. I do think there is a problem with nutrient uptake. I can't tell what your mulch is, but it may have contaminants in it. It may be a soil problem. Have you done a soil test? That should explain your soil's fertility. The death knell may well be a soil borne disease, but that is because unhealthy plants succumb sooner and more quickly to disease.

As to your container plants. Are you using the same soil as in the garden or is it soilless mix? If it is the same soil, that may explain things. If you are using a soilless mix be sure to add fertilizer every week or so when you water. How much time are the plants in the sunlight and how much heat are they subjected to. The plants may be being cooked or drowned or starved. I agree the plants in the photos are goners.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Jul 18, 2017 5:06 PM CST
California conditions are different than for most of us. Get in touch with your county extension agent. They need to earn their pay. http://ucanr.edu/County_Office...
Name: Kodie
Southern California (Zone 10a)
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Kodiewithak
Jul 19, 2017 5:51 AM CST
Paul F,

I only have a pH/moisture meter, which shows the pH at around 6.5, but I have since ordered a soil test kit for N, P and K. Is there a test I can do to find out if the soil is contaminated (if so, do you know of a specific one you'd recommend)? Many of the plants are in different beds which contain store bought garden soil mixed with my own soil. Much of the soil that's mine comes from very different areas on my property. Would that mean that my soil is just inherently diseased? If so I would obviously need to buy all the needed soil next year without mixing it with my own soil.

The plants in the containers are straight from the nursery, using only the soil that came in the pots purchased from the nursery, none of my own.

I have been metering my plants for moisture daily in the hopes that I water as needed and no more or less, but I'm unexperienced at this and may still not be doing it quite right. I wouldn't doubt it if my watering habits are part of the problem regardless.

The plants would be in the sun from 6am until about 4pm, but I have provided some shade that lasts for part of the day, so it might be something like 7 or 8 hours of sun per day. I can extend the shade structures if needed.

Thank you for your thoughtful response!


farmerdill,

I didn't even know that was an option, I'm glad you told me and I will definitely contact them. Thank you!
Name: Kodie
Southern California (Zone 10a)
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Kodiewithak
Jul 19, 2017 9:09 PM CST
[Last edited by Kodiewithak - Jul 19, 2017 9:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
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Intheswamp
Jul 23, 2017 7:47 AM CST
Just curious, but have you tried growing a different family of vegetables in the spot where the squash are/were? Maybe tomatoes or peppers?...to see if they have the same problem?

Just a newbie thought.
Best wishes.
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jul 29, 2017 2:44 PM CST
Find anything out yet ?
If its not over watering. Its more likly a disease. Wilt. Etc. That some insects carry.
I think i have same thing going on in my vege garden. 😞
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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