Questions About Squash Mosaic Virus

Ugh, viruses. I don’t care where they are or what (or who) they are affecting, they are just irritating, especially when they mess with your best laid plans. They always do, too–no one ever plans for a virus! (If you do, you’ll have to let me know your secret!) Today’s virus is brought to you by my squash plants. Oh joy.

Questions About Squash Mosaic Virus - Stone Family Farmstead

Last week, I yanked up a few plants I believed to have mosaic virus. I noticed the infection a few weeks ago, but I didn’t want to pull my plants too soon without knowing what was going on. I was getting a decent squash harvest this year and I just didn’t want it to end!

“The internet is a wonderful place,” my friend Stacey always says, so I hopped on and researched what the problem with my squash plants might be. It seemed that the issue was squash mosaic virus. All the characteristics were there–mottled green and yellow leaves, dark green raised areas on some of the leaves, bumpy fruit. From my research, it was still ok to eat the fruit, but it sure was weird looking. Thankfully all of the fruit coming from the plants were like that, but it was obvious still that I hit on the issue.

Can You Help Me?

Since I haven’t dealt with this particular virus before in my garden, I’m at a loss as to what to do right now with the section of garden where the sick plants were growing. It is just sitting desolate–well, wait, there is a lone squash plant coming up there. My inclination is to pull that one out as well and call this year’s squash endeavor over. I’m thinking there will be repeat of the virus in this new plant, and any other vegetables that I plant there as mosaic virus can affect so many other plants.

However–what I don’t know is whether or not the strain of mosaic virus that was affecting my squash plant is the same strain that would affect, say, a tomato plant? Do you know? I’m really hesitant to plant anything else there until I understand this virus better.

Have you ever dealt with this? Did you have to amend the soil in any way, or wait a specific amount of time before you planted there again?

Shared at Good Morning Mondays, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Homemade Mondays, Making Your Home Sing Mondays, Hey Momma! Link Party, (Mis)Adventures Monday, Tuesdays with a Twist, Tuesday Garden Party, Dream. Create. Inspire. Link, Homestead Blog Hop, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Green Thumb Thursday, Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Weekend Blog Hop, From the Farm, Front Porch Friday, Awesome Life Friday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturday

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Kristi Stone

Kristi Stone

Honestly? I'm the author of this blog...sometimes. My family and I live in Sunny Southern California on a one acre hobby farm where we are working diligently to one day produce our dairy, eggs, and produce. That takes A LOT of work, so if you don't hear from me as soon as you'd like, give me a shout out in the comments and I'll chat back as soon as I can between the garden, goat kids, chickens, husband, human kids, and playing with my grandboy, Kieran. And in the mean time, if you'd like to see more frequently what goes on at our farm, please feel free to join my Facebook group (see the right column) where I am more active. I'd love to get to know you! ­čÖé
Kristi Stone

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  1. kris beckman says:

    Kristi- mosaic virus is host specific, so squash mosaic virus will only affect squash. That being said, I would hesitate to plant anything from the gourd or cucumber family in that area at this time. But you could go with root crops like beets or turnips. They grow more vigorously in cooler weather, but will survive the heat of Aug. and mature when the weather cools. The same for hardy greens like chard or collard greens. It’s hard for me to leave a bed fallow as well, but remember that Fall planting time isn’t far off. Now is a good time to amend that soil and prepare it for peas, lettuces and cole crops to go in come late Sept. If your family likes blackeyed peas, you can plant them now where your squash was. You can eat the slender young blackeyes like green beans (just cook long and slow as they are tougher). Then let the pods dry on the plants to harvest the beans (peas) for shelling. You will have good luck all year if you eat blackeyes on New Year’s Day! I have also heard that spraying the soil with a mix of colloidal silver and water will treat soil borne fungus. Will have to research that further…good luck!

    • Hi Kris! Thank you so much for the advice. I figured I’d better not follow squash with like plants due to nutrient depletion, so I am on the right page there. I was really hoping that I could at least plant something else there, and it looks like I can. I will be taking your advice and building up the soil for my fall garden. Perhaps I’ll plant my onions and garlic there since I’m not a big blackeyed pea fan. ­čÖé That’s interesting about colloidal silver–I *just* heard of using that in the garden recently. Definitely worth researching! Thanks again, friend!

      • We’re a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to paintings on. You have done a formidable task and our entire group will be grateful to you.

  2. Hmmm, hadn’t heard of this one before. Glad your readers could help you out! Thanks for sharing on this week’s Maple Hill Hop!

  3. I don’t know anything about squash mosaic virus and I hope not to have to deal with it. Thanks for linking up at the Tuesday Garden Party and sharing about it.

  4. Luckily I haven’t had this virus in my plants so I can’t help you. ­čÖü Hopefully it won’t be back next year!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope you’ll stop back again this week!


  5. Haven’t had mosaic virus in squash yet, but did have it in a tomato plant. It quickly spread to neighboring bean plants in same bed. I pulled the plants then planted garlic there because it’s supposed to be anti-viral. The garlic finished this past May and now the bed is replanted. So far no signs of the virus. I’ve read that solarizing will work but haven’t tried it. Now is the best time to solarize and it should get done in time for fall planting.

    • Thanks Ruth! Garlic is a great idea for sure, I’ll try that. I haven’t heard of solarizing, but upon checking it out, I’m too late. I ended up planting in that bed again some disease resistant varieties of watermelon and other melons. I hope they end up being ok, but time will tell. If there are still issues, I will be planting garlic for the full stretch and perhaps even some onions. Thanks again for the info!

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