Zucchini

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Pauljm, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Pauljm

    Pauljm Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi folks,
    As shown in the pics Some of My young Zucchini plants are struggling. Even the healthiest looking ones have small ants on them?. What do u guys think? Aphids maybe? I sprayed the plants with eco neem last week. They don’t look any different. As you can tell I have no idea!
    Cheers..Paul
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  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I see you are using some sort of wood chip for mulch.
    Check the pH of your soil because wood chip can acidify the soil.
    It can also rob the soil of nitrogen which sets the young plants back from the outset.
    Zucchini etc don't really like heavy or clay soils much either.
    The ants might be farming critters on your seedlings but the Neem should have fixed that.
    If the ants are still hanging around, spray them again incase the night air diluted the Neem.
    Ants will take advantage of weakened plants, so the infestation of ants is often a sign of another issue such as nutritional or soil.
    Also, another spray which you should start using now also is a fungus spray for grey mould.
    There are a number of less vicious sprays using copper etc, or you can just use some proprietary product. But using nothing will spell disaster for your plants right after the first fruit.
    10% milk in water is also good when sprayed under the leaves but has to be reapplied after all overhead watering, heavy fogs or rain. You can make up 500 ml and keep it in the fridge for a week.
    So if all else has failed, do some foliar feeding in every watering with some product like Thrive which gives plants a big quick hit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  3. Pauljm

    Pauljm Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi again and thanks again for the rePly clissat. The energy co. Trimmed trees down our road a few months back and dumped it all in the paddock across the road. I tried to pick the leafier bits to use in this bed rather than the woodchip. I also thought the woodchip / nitrogen issue was when u mixed it with the soil as opposed to just placing it on top? I will get some more sugarcane mulch next time I’m over that way and leave the woodchip for my paths and stuff. Is it fine to use in my compost and manure heaps though? My soil test isn’t real definitive one way or another. Probably means I’m doing something wrong? Hard to tell by the photos but probably alkaline if anything?
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    Thanks again for your help
    Paul
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The nitrogen drawdown steals everything the microbes can feed to the starving bacteria doing the breakdown of the green waste.
    I call it green waste because it takes a long time to turn into brown waste.
    I wouldn't put it in compost or manure heap for the same reason.
    The garden paths and driveway are really good places for woodchip.
    Or places where you want to temporarily prevent weeds. Now there's a telling statement! ;)
    If it has to be used then it needs supplementing with copious blood and bone plus potassium sulphate 10%. The old measurement was a handful per square metre but nowadays b&b is not so powerful so even more is needed.
    For the same reason I think sugarcane mulch is almost as bad!
    It is very good at thieving all the nitrogen it can get hold of.
    One way to still use these woody mulches is to put a sacrificial layer between them and the soil.
    Such a layer could be Lucerne, compost, nitrogenous manures such as chicken or pigeon.
    Old manures should go into the compost to add bulk whereas fresh manures can go over the top of the sacrificial layer with yet more mulch over that again.
    Whatever you put on top is what keeps the moisture in and heat out.
    Whatever you put against the soil feeds the plants and the soil directly but probably would dry out to become impervious if not covered with the hay/mulch type layer.

    So your pH test showed some alkalinity which should be good. Your little zuchs should be thriving.
    Here in this thread I posted a couple of pH charts which will give you a small insight to how acid/alkaline works.
    https://www.selfsufficientculture.com/threads/water-tests-treating-for-high-iron-etc.1442/
    Here's a link for citrus nutritional info but applies to all plants and seeing these issues on citrus leaves is very easy.
    https://www.globalnetacademy.edu.au...hat-are-your-citrus-trees-trying-to-tell-you/

    From these links you should be able to start understanding what is going on in your soil, Paul.

    The yellow leafed zuch is showing a type of chlorosis which I think is nitrogen related, but by applying a foliar feed that covers not only NPK, but also the other main minerals and trace elements, you can cover most issues very quickly. The response should be just a few days. And the benefit of foliar feeding is that it doesn't matter what the soil is doing in the short term. It gives you time to fix your soil while still growing healthy plants.
    You can make just a couple hundred mls of foliar feed kept in a spray bottle and applied lightly daily in the mid arvo so no sun can burn it on the delicate leaves, yet it has time to dry before night.
    What i said about grey mould also applies to powdery mildew even more so. I just forgot to mention powdery mildew!
     
  5. Cathy

    Cathy Member Premium Member

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    I have Zuccs that looked just like these but also powdery mildew which in my climate hits everything possible.

    I hit them with eco-fungicide and in that spray bottle I also use seaweed powder, a full trace element fertilizer, eco-oil, eco-neem.

    Fixed everything over night..... except for the stink bugs.... I'm infested with stink bugs!
     
  6. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Cathy I had a big laugh when I read your post about being infested with stink bugs!!
    I'm sure you don't mean yourself being infested! :D

    But anyway back to more serious things...... Yes stink bugs can be hard to get rid of.
    Eco oil or white oil should do it. They breathe through their knees and tail so as long as you cover them with oil, they should suffocate.
    Getting under the leaves is important when dealing with then too as that is where their eggs are hidden.

    Re the powdery mildew, yes best to start very early spraying for that one as the sooner you start, the more crop you will get and the healthier your plants will be.
    I start with the milk spray while the little seedlings are still in their punnet. So much easier to get under the leaves when you can pick up the container of plants.
    A few years back when I was still gardening in the ground, if it was a bad season with lots of light rain and humidity, I'd plant the seedlings on into larger pots rather than put them straight in the ground. That way I could still do under their leaves easily.

    Having plants that got sick straight away was a sure indicator of unhealthy soil or in my case, unhealthy water causing unhealthy soil. My zuchs getting sick straight away was one of the reasons I stopped gardening in the ground. Especially when that same year I had a very successful crop of green zucchini that I grew in potting mix and compost in a bathtub watered with rain water. Apart from a bit of late powdery mildew, they didn't have any issues.

    Happy gardens =happy people!:thumbsup:
     
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