Squash and zuchs decline

Hello! Here’s what I got…my squash and zuchinni didn’t do well last year here in MD…too wet…so this year they have been beyond fantastic…until now. It’s the end of July and they have seemed to run dry. Is that normal? I thought I recalled as a kid getting squash until the end of August. The plants are still alive although I had to cut off a bunch of dead chutes…but just not flowering anymore.


Summer squash has long been shortlived here due to squash borers and cucumber beetles- the latter bringing wilt.

Lat year was too wet here in NY as well to get a good harvest, and this year the short burst of fruit has been overwhelming.

Usually the best way to keep the squash coming is to keep new plants coming for me. I don’t use poisons on flowering plants.

The first plant I put out is almost done while the second one still is completely healthy and at peak production. It will start to die in a week- but by the time I’ve used the last of its fruit I will just move on to other vegetables.

Maybe I should start new plants towards the end of June- I know gardeners that do that.

Winter squash that creates vigorous vines that sprout roots, such as old fashioned Waltham butternut, keeps on growing through the season and is extremely productive.

I wish someone would develop a summer squash that does the same thing- besides the Italian “trombone” squash, which isn’t to my liking.


I like that idea. Too bad most of the newer releases seem to breed for compactness of the plant instead. At least, that’s how they market them.


Yes, much modern breeding is to keep plants compact, and often, as with tomatoes (and stonefruit), to keep the harvest in a short window, which is the opposite of what home gardeners usually want.

I grew a winter squash last year for its small fruit that rapidly ripened the fruit and then died. I got a total a 4 small squash from it, while a single butternut can provide a winter’s supply of huge fruit. Fortunately my veg garden is also a fruit tree nursery for my youngest apple and plum trees, so the squash can wander around under the trees. I have to pull them off when they start growing up them.


For me it’s all about the squash vine borers. The squash bugs are bad enough, but that damn SVB is what usually does them in.

Telltale sign is a soft tan area on the vine that detaches the whole section if I try to lift that area. And despite my post earlier this year, so far absolutely nothing kills those bastards. :rage:

Moschata squash like butternut have good resistance to the borers. That’s why people grow the tromboncino as a summer squash.

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For me, the squash bugs usually wind up getting to be really but they don’t bother the Waltham Butternut until the end of the season. This year I’ve killed several adults and destroyed many eggs. I am sure I am missing more than I catch. This is what happens every year.

The next worst pest is this little yellow thing (not a cucumber beetle). It’s squishy and its eggs, which like squash bug eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves, are soft and yellow. Google tells me it’s the larvae of the squash lady beetle. I guess I shouldn’t be leaving those things alone after all. This larva can get out of control as the season goes on.

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Same issue here in Georgia. My solution is to start squash as early as possible indoors and enjoy until the bugs get to the vines, the rip out for fall items. The Trombocino was quite good the year that I tried it, lasting until sometime in August before succumbing to bugs. Are you guys ready to start up your Fall/Winter gardens? Randy/GA

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For me, Butternut squash is part of the fall garden. I plant in July to harvest before frost.

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Those squash lady beetles are one of a few kinds of lady beetles that are not beneficial at all. They eat plants rather than eating other insects. I don’t have them, but I have the closely related Mexican bean beetles that have destroyed my beans this year. I pick all of them off (with a glove) and drop in soapy water, and destroy the eggs.

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I didn’t realize the two were related. I see the beetles just eating the plant and figure there’s not enough to do much damage. Little did I know those bugs who did so much damage later in the year were their larvae.

I’ll kill them one way or another on sight, now that I know better.

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For me also in Maryland it is the cucumber beetles and the bacterial wilt they bring that is the problem. I stopped growing squash but before I quit I found that Surround was a useful weapon, it would limit the cucumber beetle invasion and slow down the rate of wilt. Of course a regular poison would probably do better.


That is interesting. I had the ole powdery mildew that I was able to fight off most of the season so far. Since we’ve had plenty of cucumber beetles so I’m guessing that is what’s going on. I cut back a bunch of dead/wilted/ limp stuff. It sounds like a great idea to cut my losses and throw in some winter squash. I have some butternut and spaghetti that are just getting rolling.

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I’ve been growing and enjoying Tatume to use in this way for several years. SVB take out all my regular zukes, but the Tatume keeps going. It is a vining plant that is rather tame by vine standards and nothing like the tromboncini that I’ve heard gets massive like the Waltham butternuts. It stays a little firmer than a regular zuke when cooking and has a little more flavor, both traits I like, but others may differ. If you want them softer you can just cook them longer. Small they can be eaten like zukes, but if you let them mature and harden they are a winter squash and can be kept through the winter for use. As a winter squash, they are fairly mild and not very sweet, so think more of a zuke flavored winter squash to cut up and use in soups, etc. than a sweet butternut.

If there is a negative to me it is the shape, since I prefer the way I can slice up a zuke, but these work well if I don’t let them get too big. Here’s one I ate last night with a little tomato and fresh basil.


I have grown those for my kids, it is amazing how big they get and how fast they grow. I have long wondered whether it would be possible to use a tromboncino squash as a rootstock for grafting another variety. (particularly if this could somehow be accomplished after it had grown large enough to have rooted in multiple places)

Also just sharing, I tried growing this variety of zucchini this year and one of the two plants has just killed it:


I have gotten tons of squash from this one plant and while it has slowed down now it was easily my most successful summer squash. (I planted two total and one was hugely successful and the other only produced a single squash and stopped growing.)

I will grow these again next year.

The lack of the ability to dedifferentiate stem tissue into root primordiam would doom the scion I think.

I tried starting 4 of these new mini bush zucchini in the late spring. So far I have gotten a single small zucchini, total. Not a fan. Such a waste of space.

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