The Digital Harbor High School and Comminity garden in Federal Hill, Baltimore, had two raised beds with up to ten zucchini plants. Until a week ago, they were thriving and giving abundant crops. One by one they have been dying off, and the stem close to the root (and part of the root) looks like it has been chewed off, or perhaps bored through. There is no obvious pest visible save for a few ants, and the garden is fenced in. We have had a rodent issue, but there are no teeth marks. The plants lie on the ground uprooted and dying. Any ideas would be apreciated, if nothing else for teaching purposes. Thanks! Best regards, Vigdis Jacobsen, 63, Baltimore City Master Gardener 2014.
The two most likely causes of the rapid decline are :
bacterial wilt disease:
squash vine borer:
If it was squash vine borer, you would have to slit the stem upward from the base of the plant to locate the larvae.
It's not too late to plant a second summer squash crop.