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Why Aren’t My Squash Bearing Fruit and Do They Have Borers?

By: Jessie Keith

“How can I determine if a squash plant in my raised bed is just “doing bad,” or if it’s “doing bad because a squash vine borer might have gotten it?” And does one bad squash plant ruin all the rest in the same bed? Nothing seems to be bearing fruit now.” Question from Cat of Horse Shoe, North Carolina.”

Answer: You are in luck! Most of these common questions for squash growers have already been answered for Ask a Garden Expert inquirers. The answers are below. But, you also ask a question has not been addressed. This is about the idea of one squash plant damaging another.

One squash plant can only damage another if it is carrying a disease that can easily be spread. Do you see badly wilting leaves without the evidence of holes or damage on the stems (see the vine borer piece, which shows stem borer images.). Do you see white, dusty mold (powdery nildew) on the leaves or brown or yellow spots? If so, your plants likely have a disease. There are many that attack squash. Some, like powdery mildew, can be managed, while others are deadly. (Click here for a detailed article on all squash diseases.)

Squash Vine Borers

Click here for tips for identifying and beating squash vine borers.

Poor Squash Production

Click here for some possible causes and solutions for poor squash set.

Squash Bugs

Click here are some tips for how to get rid of squash bugs, a common pest that can reduce squash performance.

I hope that these tips help!

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

2 Comments

  1. Cmartcookie

    I know it isn’t any kind of mildew – we’ve already been down that path during a few different years. If the problem is borers – and I’ll check on that today, is it safe to re-use the bed for something else if I clear out all the plants in it? Or does it have to sit empty for a while? Or ???? Thanks! It’s not easy to search the blogs for an answer to this…

  2. Jessie Keith

    Please send photos if you think that they will help. Fully cleaning beds of all plant debris in fall is very important in keeping many pests and some diseases at bay. I also recommend rotating your crops as a protective measure. (Click here to read my recent article about vegetable rotation.) Also, I forgot to mention that squash needs full sun to produce at its fullest. Are yours getting full sun? I also wanted to share this additional Ask a Garden Expert about poorly producing zucchini.

    Happy gardening,

    Jessie

    Jessie

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