Zucchini – I give up!

If you have followed the ongoing saga regarding my failed attempts to grow zucchini, the photograph below will be familiar. Fellow bloggers kindly offered suggestions as to the possible cause along with some remedies.
Vegetable Diary June: Veggie Disasters – S.O.S

Zucchini rotting as they grow

Zucchini rotting as they grow

To cut a long story short, I finally decided despite my valiant efforts, it was time to quit and dig them up! You can imagine my surprise when I saw all the white “fluffy” stuff resembling cottonwool attached to the roots!

Do you think it’s some sort of insect i.e mealy-bug, a fungus of some description or neither? Any ideas? The raised vegetable area was only consturcted this year and I used compost, processed manure and general soil so nothing had previously been grown in this area.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so how did you resolve, or if not did you have the same problem the following year?

All suggestions gratefully received!

Related posts: Veggie Disasters – S.O.S

Vegetable Diary July – I will never be self sufficient!

Maybe because we live close to the sea and the humidity is extremely high, growing courgettes and squash will always be problematic. Sigh…

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37 responses to “Zucchini – I give up!

  1. Aww, PiP . . . that’s too bad. Some years, our zucchini has been stellar. Other years, it rots away from borers.

    Greg might have some clues for you:
    http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/squashed-squash-hopes/

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  2. The best thing you could do is ask a few locals they would know.

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    • Hi DP,
      I did ask at the local co op and they thought it was because the weather was too cold. To cold! its been up to 33C and lowest on a bad day was only 19C. I think that one def got lost in translation 🙂

      I’d love to speak to the locals but I don’t speak enough Portuguese unfortunately. Even if I did, the Algarve accent and phrasing is a lot different to the Lisbon Portuguese I’ve been taught. It’s the equivalent of a person with a broad Liverpool accent speaking to someone with a broad Irish accent, if you follow my drift! I onced asked one of the real locals for a persons house and was directed to the beach. Mr Piglet thought it was highly amusing.

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  3. Oh, dear. I wish I had some insight. I don’t, so I’ll be interested to read what others may have to offer. Meanwhile, I salute your tenacity and your decision to go ahead and pull up the plant. Now, my dear, you will get the “root” of the problem!

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  4. Yes, PiP, hats off to you for your determination and positive attitude in the face of rot, fungus or whatever.
    Perhaps the local farmer’s markets have a glut of summer squash and you can get a bunch there. But I know, there is nothing like eating stuff you grew yourself. Better luck next year…the advice to get advice from the “locals” is probably good advice. 🙂

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    • Hi Vivian,
      My added frustration is I can’t speak to the locals. the real old farmer boys just don’t understand me and I don’t understand them 😦 I could learn so much from them. I look at their hortas in frustration. One day…one day…

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  5. You did the best you could and perhaps the temperature and other factors contributed to the rot this year… Maybe a hardier seed for next year? Cheer up PiP! 🙂

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    • thanks Eliz good idea re the seed! The guy at the co op thought temperature was too cold. In June with lowest temps at 19C and highest 33C I was cynical. 19C in UK is relatively hot and I grew courgettes there…plus one of my friends 1/2 a mile away had so many zucchini they were growing out of her ears!

      Still I retain my PMA and will try again next year but in pots…and change all the soil

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  6. Good luck on finding out what’s going on with the roots. Hopefully someone local will have the answer for you. Better luck next year.

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  7. Unfortunately, I have yet to grow a green thumb and never been interested in gardening, so no tips for you, but I wish you luck in finding out the problem and rectifying it in the future! Here’s to tons of zucchini next gardening season! 🙂

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  8. Now that you’ve dug it up, you can identify that white stuff. Discovering that there’s white stuff which is, apparently, bad for green stuff is a good thing. You can get some answers. Good luck, PiP!

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  9. Applause for your all-star efforts. I’m sad that your squash didn’t do well. You’ve got me stumped on what the white fuzzy stuff is. I’ve surfed around and can’t find anything like it. I hope someone will post soon and identify it.
    Wishing you the best for your next gardening season. 🙂

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  10. you poor thing.I can’t say I’ve seen cottonwooley roots like that before.

    We got hit by a hail storn in July. It wiped out the cucumbers. The tomatoes, zucchini and spaghetti squash survived but are just now flowering. By the time any fruit appears the frost will be coming.

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  11. I can’t be of any practical help apart from sympathising for your wasted time, and marvelling atthe odd cotton wool fungus. I wonder what it is myself

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  12. That’s really strange! I’m growing zucchini for the first time and it’s growing like crazy. I can’t keep up with it and I’m giving some away and freezing what I can for later use. Hope you find some answers.

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  13. oh no 😦 sorry it didnt work out. I would love to grow my own veggies but I would probably kill fake plants.

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  14. Oh Dear…Don’t give up PIP…they look as if they tried!!!!

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  15. A similar fate met my squash. My mom showed me how to check for bugs nearly every day. That’ll be fun next year.

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    • Hi Rufus,
      Your Mom is wise! I should check for bugs more 🙂
      It has since been suggested that maybe the compost I used was to potent and should have mixed it with normal soil. Because there wer too many nutirents in the soil it caused the white fungus. NExt year I need to mix more bog standard soil into the mis to water it down, so to speak.
      We will see!

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  16. I asked my daddy (the ultimate backyard gardener), as he always seems to know everything about growing veggies. Unfortunately, he’s never had this kind of problem with his zucchini. He plants directly in the ground and doesn’t use very much compost mixed into the soil. His plants seem to thrive year after year. Sorry I can’t help. I’m sure you’ll find a way to grow them next season.

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  17. Pingback: The Demise of Piglet’s Veggie Plot | Piglet in Portugal

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