Speaking of squashes (and s. bugs)

gldno1July 14, 2013

So far I am bug free (using Sevin dust).

This is the sweet potato and squash row, looking east to west.
Strawberries on far right and the tomato row on the fence to the left.

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Those are beautiful Glenda. If I move the damn frog babies and pick all the squash, I could spray the plant and get nothing on the fruit.

What is everyone's favorite type of squash? I didn't think I'd like zucchini but I do. I don't bread it just fry in canola oil with salt and pepper. I like the yellow summer squash but didn't grow any. It might not be too late except it is too dry to be adding more plants.

Now I have stink bugs on pole beans. It is easy to see them and squish them if you have all the time in the world.

This post was edited by helenh on Sun, Jul 14, 13 at 23:43

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 10:30AM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Oh Helen, I LOVE patty pan squash. Used to have it for breakfast, sauteed with butter. And I do enjoy zuchinni all year, thanks to Walmart. Hope to get some of my own, as I noticed a blossom beginning on my plants this morning. Last year my plants bloomed like mad but made no fruit. I think it was because there were few bees and I did experiment with net over them -- probably kept it on too long, but never did have squash bugs --
Glenda, your squash plants are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 11:50AM
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Thanks for sharing a great post. I appreciate your thinking

Here is a link that might be useful: CColumns

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 3:00PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

I'm so determined to get zucchini this season that I cover my squash around 5 pm and uncover in early morning. Covering with net. Have been doing this since they started blossoming.

So far not a hint of insects -- or zucchini. I check the undersides of the leaves daily and no eggs. Lots of flowers (look like males) and there are tons of bees nearby. I'm not going to give up, though. The plants look really good, so maybe if I hold my mouth just right --

Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 5:39PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Is the plant in full sun? Some people pollenate the flowers with a Q-tip or something but you have to have female blossoms. There are u tubes on how to do it I think. Some people dip the male flowers and fry them. If you have no female flowers why not try eating the male flowers? I have never tried them myself but I have seen it on line.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 11:18AM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Helen, as I covered the plants tonight, I THINK.THINK.THINK I saw a baby squash. So excited. It's been a real pain to cover them in the evening, all this time, but the plants look so good -- surely they will produce. ? The post from OkieDawn helped a lot.
If I can't experiment and play with it, it's just Work. Not fun. So we shall see.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 10:22PM
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beth_b_kodiak(zone 5a)

Wondering about the comment from Sunny about bees.
Last year my garden was in MD and the squash were always swarming with bees. This year, I'm in MO and the plants look good but very few bees and not much fruit either. Is this unusual? I'm not used to such a few bees being around

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 3:38PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

When my crab apple blooms in spring it hums with honey bees. Some plants seem to draw them. I have lots of bugs - little wasps, big wasps that make a hole in the ground, bumble bees, smaller blue or green bees or wasps. I don't notice that many honey bees but things get pollenated. I have seen something on the news about bees declining and that it may be fungicides.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 5:47PM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

It's amazing, but I do not have any insects bothering my two zucchini squash plants. Have squash growing on them (really!) so covering them in the evenings apparently was successful.

There did come a time when I changed from nylon net to a light insect cover and it was much easier to cover them up. But at one point, I let that go and I still haven't seen any problems.

Next year I will give pattypan and zuchs a whole bed to grow in, and will wait until later to plant them, (maybe after the spinach) as there must be a specific time for the borer wasp(?) and the squash bugs to attack, and I might have avoided that by the late planting.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 9:18AM
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I had lots of honeybees, bumblebees and hummingbirds on Crimson clover this spring. Of course Crimson clover only stays in bloom for a month, maybe less, then it's gone. After that, I didn't see any more honeybees. I don't know if they're gone gone or just gone to another place. I'd like to succession plant something that will take over after the Crimson clover but what? I just sowed some White Dutch clover, it's a perennial, I've heard they like that. And I sowed some Buckwheat but I didn't have many seeds to start with.

About the covering of the squash, I used to cover mine and I'm going to start doing that again next year, as I had a really bad squash bug infestation this year. But I would cover mine from about 10am till dark. If I understand the progression right, squash bugs hatch from eggs that a little yellow butterfly lays on the leaves. I've seen these little butterflies flitting around during the daytime hours. I didn't think they did any egg-laying at night. The flowers seemed to be only open in the early mornings. Once the sun came out, they would close. So pollination must happen in the early morning. It was possible for me to wait till the flowers were closed, then cover.

I use old curtain sheers that I buy at garage sales. They last forever. I have some lightweight ReMay and also some black nylon net. I never tried nylon net on squash but you're right, it is hard to handle. I use it to cover berries and grapes to keep the birds out but let the light in. I really hate that bird netting, the birds get tangled up in it and a small dog or a cat can also. The fruit tends to grow through the holes and you knock a lot of unripe fruit off the plant when trying to pick what's ripe. Always a challenge, isn't it?

Somebody said that if you plant gourd near your squash, it will repel the insects that like the squash. This year I had Nest Egg gourd, which has seed that is teardrop shaped, and Dipper Gourd, which has the traditional rectangular seeds that are a little knobby on each corner. What I found interesting was that the squash bugs LOOOOOVED that nest egg gourd. They started out on that and some Seminole Pumpkin, which they killed off right away. Then they progressed to the zucchini, yellow squash, and the melons. But they never bothered the dipper gourds. And they can fly, they can get all over the place once they're adults. And I think they must bear young as well as hatching from butterfly eggs. So once you've got 'em, you've got 'em. I noticed that they still hung out under the dead Nest egg gourd vines, there were a few gourds still hanging and they'd practically cover those gourds. I'd go out with a rag every morning and every afternoon and kill them by quickly wrapping the rag around the gourd. They are soooo gross. I had brought some of the gourds I picked and laid them on the patio and they were all over THOSE too. I tried Bt, I tried Spinosad, both supposed to kill anything that nibbles on the plant, to no avail. I even tried spraying them with hair spray.

For awhile I was thinking about planting Nest Egg gourd to use as a trap crop but now I realize that's not the smart thing to do since they can spread to everything else from there. Best to spend the extra time and not let those eggs get laid on the leaves to begin with than to have to fight them all summer. I don't know what time of year the butterfly quits laying eggs. Is it ever? I've seen it, or what I thought was it, 'way into late summer.

Well, that's my two cents, if it's even worth that. What we need is some beneficial insect that loves squash bugs. ;) --Ilene

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 11:18AM
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This is an interesting subject. I did have a very successful squash year and very, very few squash bugs. After the plants got so large and all the rains began, I quit using Sevin dust.....still very few bugs. I am anxious to see if I see thousands of baby ones when I harvest the squash and pull up the vines. I will let you all know.

Now here is a strange thing about the Butternut Squash: I don't know if it was all the rain or what but they are all in various shapes and sizes and very few look like the butternuts I have raised in the past.

It will be interesting to see if there is any usable flesh inside the odd shaped ones.

I just opened a new tab and went back and forth to Picasa and the forum to post these. There may be an easier way but I haven't tried to find it!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Those are some good lookin' squash! Do you remember where you got the seed? They remind me of some seed George (macmex) sent me a few years ago, they made different shaped squash like that. Very dark orange inside. Good, so good.

I got off to a poor start with squash the year I planted them, I had a huge infestation of roly-polies under the mulch and they did a lot of damage. Slug-Go was recommended to me but it only worked till it got wet. I bet Diatomaceous Earth would've worked better, but that was before I knew what it was.

I ordered some banana squash seed, going to try that next year. They say you can eat this heirloom as yellow squash when it's young and use it like winter squash when it matures.

I didn't use Picasa when I put a picture in, I used that option that is above the Message box that says "Image file to upload". I thought maybe it'd let me add on but it just replaced the one I already had when I tried that. During the upload process it didn't let me select more than one file. Till I discovered that limitation, I thought this change was a pretty good one because I didn't have to get picasa or any other photo website involved. Sheesh.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 1:15PM
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beth_b_kodiak(zone 5a)

We raised giant pink banana squash last summer and thye were very productive, We used small ones through the summer as summer squash. Kept about 5 big ones as winter squash. Very tasty either way.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Glad to hear that, Beth! I read somewhere that it's an heirloom squash that just about died out. I'm glad to see so many of these old varieties coming back. When my mother gardened, in the 70's thru the 90's, the push was hybrids. Everybody thought they were so disease resistant, and grew so big. They finally learned that the price you pay for that is in the taste. I'm excited about growing this and I've gotta lick the squash bug problem pronto.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 4:52PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Glenda your squash are very pretty and interestingly shaped. I think they would make nice holiday decorations. Butternut is kind of pumpkin like isn't it?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 1:29AM
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Helen, they make a prettier, finer textured and bright orange pie. I can tell no difference between it and pumpkin except it makes a prettier pie.

Speaking of decorations,

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:58AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Glenda, very nice, you are ahead of me. I bought three bales of straw for my friend's house. After Halloween I will bring them back here and use them over my pump and pressure tank area for insulation. We decorate there for Halloween because no one comes here.

Rockwhisperer the yellow butterflies are probably laying eggs of a pest caterpillar that is eating something else in your garden. Squash bugs lay eggs that you see under the leaves. The little ones do look a little different and are soft and easy to squash but adults and babies look pretty much alike. I am telling you this because Bt is used for caterpillars and will not hurt other things they say.

Glenda is using Sevin. I am a little afraid of it but I am almost a nut about poisons. I will use them when the striped blister beetles defoliate everything. I have too many pets to use poison - tadpoles, little frogs, two butterflies chrysalis stuck on my window inside the house etc. I don't grow squash I planted three plants and one lived. I picked squash bugs off the one plant every day. There is no way you can pick them all off if you have several plants. Glenda had her squash in one area if you do that you could pick all the summer squash off and spray in the evening to avoid spraying bees. My squash plant was near the stock tank where all the tadpoles were turning into little frogs so I couldn't spray.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Helen, I'm the same about chemicals in my garden. In my early garden years I used RoundUp (carefully) because I believed what the label said about how it would break down into harmless stuff in a short period of time. Now I understand it takes much longer than that and in my "golden years" I have come to mistrust almost anyone who has anything monetary to gain by people believing what they say.

I did find a good piece on the life cycle of the squash bug on Mother Earth News and have attached it to this post.

OMG, I didn't realize the yellow butterfly was something else entirely! I, obviously, thought IT was laying those brown eggs that I kept scraping off the leaves! But now it appears the squash bugs are wintering over as adults and flying in and laying those eggs. I'm really glad I did take the time to kill as many bugs as I could -- less to winter over. I will be covering my squashes next year too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Life Cycle of a Squash Bug

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 6:59AM
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