Monthly Archives: June 2016

Squash Issues – Yellowing Leaves on Some Plants

In one of my raised beds, I have some squash plants – both summer yellow and zucchini – that are turning yellow.   In the neighboring bed some of the late planted squash appears to be stunted.  This is affecting the older leaves first.  The edges turn yellow and the leaf surface is splotched with yellow areas.  (This year I am growing some of my summer squash – both yellow and zucchini – in tomato cages to see if I can get a better control over the plants that would otherwise sprawl all over.)

The little squash plant to the front left of this caged plant appears to be stunted.  The plant to the back, right of the center caged plant is OK.  The problem plants are intermixed with plants that are just fine and looking good.  This is a pointer to mosaic virus as opposed to a nutrient deficiency.  I have a hard time thinking that a nutrient deficiency would only affect intermittent plants when the soil was turned over and mixed before planting.
summer squash leaves are yellowing

And a closeup:  The younger leaves are OK so far.
summer squash leaves are yellowing

After spending hours searching for an answer, the 2 most promising answers are either a nutrient deficiency or a mosaic virus.

Below is a broader view.  Some of the plants are affected while others aren’t.  To add more confusion, I only made note of the varieties that I originally planted, not the subsequent 3 re-seedings that I had to do because of poor germination.  (I don’t know why the seeds did not germinate well, the original planting was 2 year old professional seed that has been stored in the refrigerator.)  The 2 original varieties were Superpik yellow and Obsidian zucchini, both on the Cucumber Mosaic Virus Resistant list at Cornell’s Squash resistance lists.

What is affecting my squash does not look exactly like any mosaic virus images I found, neither does it look exactly like Zinc deficiency, although it does look a wee bit more like the zinc deficient images.  It could also be magnesium or manganese deficiency.

So what to do?  I am not ready to pull the plants because I don’t know for sure if it is a mosaic virus.  I am going to water the squash with a handful of Epsom salt in the water.  Maybe I can crush a few zinc vitamin pills and add it to the magnesium sulfate mix.
summer squash leaves are yellowing

Oh what to do?  I have squished a few squash bugs and scraped numerous batches of eggs off of the leaves.  My research has revealed that aphids and cucumber beetles are the culprits that transmit mosaic viruses, not squash bugs, although squash bugs are blamed for transmission of some plant diseases.  No clear answer.

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Propagating Rosemary

I like my large 2 1/2′ to 3′ rosemary plants in large clay pots on the patio.  I purchased my last few rosemary plants from the produce section of a grocery store at $2.99 or so each.  This is too expensive to keep doing, so I decided to try to grow my own rosemary plants from cuttings because I realized this is how nursery rosemary plats are grown – from cuttings not from seeds.   I do have a packet of rosemary seeds and intend to sprout them at some point in the future.

I took several 3-4″ cuttings from the ends of woody branches.  I cut the stem at an angle, dipped the cut end in rooting hormone and put them in water.  In less than a week roots were growing on the cut ends.  I then planted the rooted cuttings in potting soil.

The cuttings in water.
rosemary cuttings in water

Within a week or so, the cuttings have grown roots.

roots on rosemary cuttings

The rooted rosemary cuttings in potting soil.
rooted rosemary cuttings

That was fun.  Looking for something else to try to propagate.  Looking forward to see how fast these cuttings grow.

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Burgess Seed & Plant Co Disappoints Me, Continued

In a previous post I have described how terrible my experience with Burgess Seed & Plant Co has been.

As I noted, I told them on the phone to NOT send the replacement plants in the Fall because I didn’t want left over junk that sat in the greenhouse all summer AND the plants would not survive out long summer.  That is exactly what happened, they send the replacement plants in the Fall.  The plants were already dormant and re-bloomed in the Fall only to die when the cold weather got here.

burgess plant company dead plants

This is a closeup of dead boysenberries.  The yellow circle marks the rotted stem at soil level.  This is a clear indication that the Burgess plant is dead.

Some of Burgess’ plants sprouted out after arrival in our hot fall weather, some never leafed out – neither in the fall nor the next spring.

more dead burgess plants

As previously posted, this is my Burgess replacement shipment.  I later found out that the 3 raspberries, the big bunch of dried out bare roots in the front center, must always keep their roots moist.  Huh?  Burgess threw them bare rooted in the bag with nothing to keep them moist.  Those 3 green trees are dying Colorado Blue Spruce.  They were browning and dropping needles when they arrived.  Look at all those dried, bare roots.  They didn’t make it.

burgess vs gurneys shipping practices

For a comparison, all of my Gurneys plants were individually, carefully and very nicely wrapped.  I was impressed.  All most all of their plants survived.

burgess vs gurneys plant web sites

This is my Burgess replacement plant mailing label.  Of all these plants, only 1 pecan tree and the Tophat blueberry survived!  I noted no substitutions, but they substituted the dead chestnut trees with some kind of ornamental cherry, both of which also died after they bloomed out in the fall.

Burgess turned out to be a $100 money pit for me.  A $100 of plants delivered too late, were of poor quality and died.  The one-time guarantee replacement was sent, against my request, in the fall and re-sprouted thinking my hot fall was spring – since they were dormant when arrived.  My experience with Burgess was a total disaster.

mail label for dead on arrival burgess plant order

Next Spring, my purchased plants will be from Gurneys.

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