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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Garden Veggie Plants Dying

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Garden Veggie Plants Dying Empty Garden Veggie Plants Dying

Post  txbbq 10/17/2020, 3:37 pm

Hello fellow SFGers...

I live in a northern suburb of Dallas, TX (home of those SORRY *&%$# Cowboys)!

Seriously though...I am trying to figure out why several of my plants are turning brown and dying. I have a drip irrigation system that is working pretty well. I have had an INFESTATION of what looks like Ladybugs and other very tiny flying insects I've seen when I go out to inspect or harvest.

I had been spraying with Neem oil, but haven't for several weeks. I just started again this week. Could that be the problem? Do Ladybugs do this much damage? What is the problem?

Please take a look at my pics and give me your advise.

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Post  markqz 10/17/2020, 8:45 pm

Length of day matters to some plants as well as temperatures. I'm at the same latitude as you, and tomatoes and pumpkins are refusing to thrive. It's probably just the diminishing daylight. But many of the brassicas I started in September are starting to perk up.

A picture of the "Lady bugs" might help. There are a lot of lady-bug look-alikes, and some of them are not gardener friendly.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 10/18/2020, 9:43 am

Are they cucumbers?  Are all plants affected, or just certain ones?  Do you see anything like tiny holes in the leaves?
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Post  txbbq 10/20/2020, 12:40 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Are they cucumbers?  Are all plants affected, or just certain ones?  Do you see anything like tiny holes in the leaves?

Yes...they're cucumbers, melons, pumpkins & tomatoes. Yes, there are quite a few large and small holes in my leaves.  Can anyone recommend  a "best practice" for keeping insects out of the garden. 

Also, btw, I have noticed that squirrels have found the garden and were crawling over my outer fence, invading and feasting on my peppers. I put a layer of bird-netting across the top of the SFG fence though, and it put a halt to that problem.
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Post  txbbq 10/20/2020, 12:46 pm

@markqz wrote:Length of day matters to some plants as well as temperatures. I'm at the same latitude as you, and tomatoes and pumpkins are refusing to thrive. It's probably just the diminishing daylight. But many of the brassicas I started in September are starting to perk up.

A picture of the "Lady bugs" might help. There are a lot of lady-bug look-alikes, and some of them are not gardener friendly.

I have the exact same things, adding cucumbers too. But, strangely enough, I think I'm seeing some of each with 'new' leaves and stems as if they're trying to 'regenerate' themselves and on the tomatoes & cucumbers, I'm seeing a couple of new yellow flowers. Don't know if they'll continue to grow or not.

In the first pic I posted, you can see where the tomato plant browned out and there's a couple of small green ones on it. They have not grown any bigger though, and have themselves developed a couple of brown spots. I may have over-pruned this one though. I know I over-watered,  before installing the drip system. I was hoping it would recover. I am using Osmocote, and I added some blood meal too. Would that cause the browning out? I followed instructions on the bag, but maybe that was too much for just one tomato plant? Advise welcomed.


Last edited by txbbq on 10/20/2020, 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding a sentence)
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Post  Scorpio Rising 10/20/2020, 7:43 pm

I think plants will try to survive, so I’m not sure what the green growth represents, but time will tell.  I think close-ups would help.  Seems strange that the whole bed is affected...

Osmocote and blood meal are slow release, and shouldn’t affect the plants like this; if anything, too much nitrogen will make for too much foliage and not enough fruits.  I don’t feel that was a factor here.

Over-pruning might contribute to burn however.
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Post  floyd1440 10/27/2020, 9:25 pm

I’ve had trouble with Cucumbers. They turned yellow then brown and died quickly. Heard it may be bugs in the soil and just don’t plant them for a few years
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Post  Yardslave 10/28/2020, 12:53 pm

Ladybugs on the leaves are usually an indication of a bug infestation. Check the undersides of a leaf that still has some green on it with a magnifying glass. Could be spider mites, or thrips that can cause that scorched appearance at the leaf tips. This could also be a virus attacking the plant. From it's appearance and given the remainder of the growing season, I'd give it it's last rites and yank it out- it's pretty far gone.
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Garden Veggie Plants Dying Empty Overwatering Can Do This

Post  PAULPOTTINGER 10/30/2020, 1:25 pm

The title says it all.  I have experience to back it up!  It will recover on its own if that's the problem now that you've gotten control of watering.  Good luck ... from Abilene, TX.
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