keeping squash going through the heat

daninthedirt(Cent TX; USDA z8a, HZ10, Sunset z30)August 15, 2012

I had considerable success with butternut squash this year. Got a half-dozen big fruit out of just two or three plants. Due to their natural resistance, with a little help from an occasional dusting with Carbaryl, I managed to keep the vine borers at bay. But in the last few weeks, hit with 103+ temps, the plants just faded, even though I watered them about every other day, and even gave them some shade. The symptoms looked like borers, but I didn't see any burrows.

What's the strategy for seeing squash through the hottest times of the year? I've seen people suggest watering every day, which seems a bit excessive.

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ccabal(7)

Dan, I'm in Garland, TX Where are you at? We've had weeks of 100+ weather, even a few days of 106-108. But its finally letting down some. First year growing squash, and found out about the SVB earlier this year, but I have a battle plan (see my post on the Pumpkins/Squash forum) which seems to be holding up, despite the crazy heat.
My plants are doing fine in the heat, a lot better than I expected, since my cukes for example, yielded good earlier but the heat killed them. But my squash (acorn, pumpkin, and yellow, all C. pepo) have survived the heat.. the only thing I have notice is I have had no fruit set so far. The small fruits all shrivel and die even before the flower opens. But I am hopeful this week, as I have a few nice looking female flowers I have hand pollinated. Maybe they will make it.
But I water often, and deeply.. I have watered every other day. Are you watering a lot?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:32PM
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wally_1936(8b)

I would say that if your plants are giving up you might want to start new plant for the cooler weather coming up in a month or so. If you use pots to start them inside make sure they are the ones you put in the ground without disturbing the plants and they will do fine.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:33PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; USDA z8a, HZ10, Sunset z30)

Yes, I watered every two days, maybe every three when temps were just in the high 90s. But still ... it was fierce. I'm in the Austin area.

I'll be interested to see your post on borers.

As to starting plants for cooler weather, the way it works with me is that I count on trying to keep them alive, whereby I don't start new ones. So if and by the time they croak, I don't have things ready to put in. Also, my experience is that spring is much more conducive to productivity than fall. Not sure why.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 6:22PM
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ccabal(7)

My Acorn squash are finally setting fruit, now that we've been at around 90 degrees for the past week.
I've got 4 baby fruit that have not shriveled up and died. 2 are about the size of my fist. Woohoo!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:00PM
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