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Fasciation affecting my squash, advice  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Denver, CO
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Fasciation (deformed, twisted growing points) is appearing on my squash plants. I am assuming it is caused by aster yellows, a bacterial-like pathogen spread by leaf hoppers. (There are a lot of leaf hoppers here this year. ) I could, of course, pull out affected plants, but give its incubation time (10 days before symptoms appear) it has probably already infected all the squash, cucumber, and melon plants on my plot; over a 8th of an acre of cucurbit crops. This will be a fairly big loss for me. What can I do to halt spread? And, if the plants are already infected, what can I do? The standard horticulture websites say there is no treatment. However, I did see a mention that high temperatures deactivates the pathogen in both plants and insects, so it does not occur in hot climates. Would covering the plants with low tunnel plastic help?

Also, by pulling out currently affected plants, I would loose any crop they might produce despite the aster yellows. Do you have experience with this? Do such plants have any yields at all? Would it be worth keeping them?

Finally, I'm not 100% sure that I've diagnosed the problem correctly; I'm including a picture of a plant with a similar problem from last fall. Last year, the problem showed up too late to do much damage
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Gilbert Fritz
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more pictures
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Mother Tree
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One of our squash plants is fasciated this year, and it fruited just fine!

Well, actually it gave me a 'doubler', which I ate last night.









It's in my husband's garden and he says the plant is still producing and he thinks other fruits are 'doublers' just like this.  I might pop down with the camera if a I get a chance.

Here's a link to the wikki page about it - fasciation
 
Gilbert Fritz
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My plants are crooknecks, and I've got at least one doubled crookneck squash so far. They do seem to be producing OK, though the plants are in rather strange shapes.

It is amazing how little information there is on this issue online. It seems lots of different things can cause it, some harmful others less so.
 
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We would see this ribboning in competition pumpkins as an issue with inbreeding the line. (pollenations are often controlled, bagging the male and female blooms night before opening and doing a manual controlled pollination, then tieing the female shut and rebagging it (I used old sheer curtains to make drawstring bags) for a few days until it was set and growing the fruit)

They would fruit. Just that we would not save seed from those no matter how glorified the genetics. And out of a batch of seed, some might do it and some might not.

Ribboning always showed twinning or multiple grouping of fruit as you show. It's edible.
 
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