I had to pull out one of my zucchini plants this weekend. It was certainly diseased. I am not quite sure with exactly what. It also had a few bugs feeding of it. These I am certain they were Western Corn rootworm beetles. I could not take a photo of them as they were too quick. But here is one I borrowed from wikipedia:
The good news is that this plant did not give me any zucchinis, despite having lots and lots of flowers (all males). I did enjoy its blossoms in several recipes.
When you have a plant that is obviously diseased, and you do not know how to fix it, the best thing you can do is to pull it out to avoid getting your whole crop infected. I am sure I could have found a chemical to fix the plant, but as you know I am doing this the organic way so no chemicals allowed!!
I first noticed the plant was in bad shape when I saw a brown spot that appeared soft on the stem near the roots. Slowly, the leaves were turning brown from the bottom up. I waited to see if it could get better. Then the bugs came (diseased plants are more prone to get attacked by pests). Then is when I made my decision to pull it out.
When I cut the stem, it was hollow and it has some soft brown stuff inside it. Does anyone know what this is? how did it get it? how to prevent it?
I hope the other ones and my cucumbers that are nearby do not get it.
As per the beetle! well they seem to be harmless to the plants (they were feeding on the pollen) but they will be real bad to corn if I were to plant them in the same spot where this plant was next year. apparently they lay eggs in the ground. The eggs survive the winter and when you plant corn the little larvae will hatch and eat the roots... nice ha? I am sooo not planting corn there.
I had my few corn plants this year behind this zucchini, I got only one ear... they either collapsed in the storms or did not grow at all. Finally the last 2 I had were eaten stem and all by a big animal (I know it was big as it left a chunk out of one of my low hanging big tomatoes). I guess it was a raccoon. Yikes.... not a good day for the garden : (