and then there were none

And just like that, my entire spaghetti squash crop died. About a month ago they were exhibiting a preference to world domination, climbing fences and strangling the beans. A few weeks ago I noticed that some of the leaves were dotted with a chalky white substance. And yesterday they were dead, every last plant, stalks brown and withered, a big hole in the garden where their overbearing vines had lain. The few leaves still visible are completely covered in chalky white.

So what the fuck? Did all the rain cause the leaves to mold? Has anyone else had squash plants go down to whitening leaves? And will the orphaned fruits rippen to edibility as well on my counter as they would have on the vine? Or will this be just another summer in Germany without my favorite squash? RIP spaghetti squash, RIP.

0 Comments on “and then there were none

  1. too sad, you grow girl blog may have answers about mildew? blight?

    I planted unknown squash or cucumbers or pumpkin in containers for ornamental purposes, can’t imagine that they’ll actually set fruit on windy sunbaked porch with no bees in sight

  2. Sounds like powdery mildew to me. Squash are particularly susceptible to it. You can prevent it in the future by spraying the plants with a mixture of 4tsp. bicarb/baking sods in a gallon of water. Spray especially after rain. Some people like to add oil to make the solution stick.

    Also, make sure the vines have good air circulation. You can prune the bottom leaves as the plant grows. Plant the vines further apart and be sure to remove and destroy any infected leaves.

  3. My guess is powdery mildew. It killed all of my pumpkins one year. All curcubits are susceptible. Next year try to find a variety that’s resistant.

  4. Paula: The wilt does look a lot like that in the photo shown there. Though they don’t mention the white. Perhaps it was a combination of mildew and the dreaded cucumber beetles’ cooties. Sigh.

    Jill: No blossoms left. Just four semi big not yet ripe squash. SIGH. I have been salivating just looking at them for a month, that’s how excited I was to eat them. Tragedy.

    Tess: Good luck with your squash/pumpkin experiements. Maybe they’ll come around in the end. I feel like the things that I least expect to work often work the best.

  5. Brandi: Thanks for the trip!

    Christine: Will have to keep my eyes open. The seed store only had one variety of spaghetti squash this year, and it was the first time I’d run across it in Germany ever. Will have to broaden my horizons.

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