Ground worked for new Winter Squash Patch

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)June 1, 2011

I am feeling like Mike, my new winter squash patch got worked up today. I am excited, almost over-whelmed, but excited.

FYI, I am planting 1/2-3/4 of an acre of winter squash at my families farm 35 miles from me. The field was an old pig lot. It hasn't been used in years. I get to use their tractors and tillage equipment to help maintain this plot.

Today I used the 6330 JD to rotory mow the whole space, hit a few rocks and other stuff, but no damage. Then my dad suggested that we hit it with the Disc Chisel Plow to break up the hard pan and break up the roots.

Picture of the Disc Chisel Plow (same one, not my picture)

He spend more time turning around than going straight! It was a hard pull for the 4630 JD, but we made it. It was a little wet on one end and just about perfect at the other.

8 passes and it was all broke up. The lot is about 100 by 300, but not all of it is usable. Next Sunday, if it doesn't rain, we will hit it with the disc several times and break it up. I know that weeds will be a problem, but since I have access to a tractor and equipment, I think I can manage the up close to the plants and use a tractor for between the rows. Then I will start direct seeding it next week. The extended forecast is, sunny, hot and no rain.

More pictures to come after this weekend.

Jay

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myfamilysfarm

Jay, since this plot is so far away from you, how are you going to handle the squash borer situation? You do realize that that little 'bugger' can cause destruction overnight, right? we usually plant about that much acreage each year.

Marla

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 7:23AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

How do you handle them? I will be real honest, I have never seen them out here in Kansas. If we have problems it is with squash bugs. There isn't anyone who is growing any squash for well over a 2 mile radius. Also, there as never been squash grown on this property.

I will also scout them every Tuesday or Wednesday. I have an online market and I pick up items from another vendor there. I won't be just planting them and forgetting about it.

I am going to be using insecticides. Using a 4-wheeler mounted sprayer. Probably weekly to biweekly preventative sprays.

Anything specificly work well for you?

Jay

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:05AM
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myfamilysfarm

That's one of the reasons I was asking. The only thing I do is to plant 2x-3x more than I want to harvest. I haven't found anything that works. Once they drill themselves into the stem, it's almost a lost cause, especially on a large plot. I do know they love certain types more than others, I can never remember which they love and which they hate.

Some people recommend when you find a small pile of 'sawdust' beside the stem, to cut the stem and pull the little devil out. But with a 1/4-1/2 acre I don't see that happening.

When is your school out? Our county is out, but town school gets out tomorrow.

Marla

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:14AM
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wordwiz

Jay,

I long for the days of a 3000 Ford, three bottom plow, eight-foot hydraulic disk. Our landlord had one piece of equipment that had a disk, chisel plow and leveler as one piece. About 21 feet wide - it took a huge 4WD Massey to pull it but did not take long to work a five-acre field!

I'm hoping to plant some acorn squash this week also - maybe we will compare notes!

Miike

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:04AM
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henhousefarms

We are trying Admire this year on the WS and pumkins not so much for the squash borer but the squash beetle. Granted, I'm not a huge fan of neo-nics (to just mention them on a bee keeping forum is tantamount to tossing a Molotov cocktail) but in the field where we are growing this year scouting will be somewhat limited so it's a trade off. The nice thing is it is systemic so apply at planting and it's done.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:08PM
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randy41_1

and the unnice thing is that it may be harmful to the insects that you need to grow squash and pumpkins, the pollinators.but it sounds like it solves the problem of limited time and resources which we all face.
anyway, good luck with your crops guys.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 4:38PM
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magz88(5a - Central Ontario)

Good luck with your squash. I have never tried winter squash before this year since I am not a huge fan of it.

I decided to try Melonette de Jaspe this season since it is a keeper but apparently tastes good raw. I hope so.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 4:17PM
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myfamilysfarm

In the past few years, I've sold bushels and bushels of winter squash, at least 40-50 bushel per season.

I usually sell about 15-20 bushel of spaghetti squash by itself.

Marla

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 6:48PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Marla,

I am planning on planting more than I need also, but I am also going to try some of the effective sprays.

Mike,

It took about 8 passes to work the field, probably would have been 15 minutes of work and 45 minutes of turning around, backing up and straightening back up.

Jay

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:56PM
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skyfarms(6)

Good luck Jay! I just got back in from squashing squash bugs in my pumpkin patch and on the zucchini. I'm in SE Kansas and haven't seen the borer yet either.

Marlene

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 4:07PM
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soonergrandmom

I garden in NE Oklahoma and had them for the first time last year. I am not a market grower.

Cucurbita moschata is said to be the most resistant to SVBs. Which would include things like Butternut squash, Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, Seminole Pumpkin, and others.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:51AM
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