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bryce d
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Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green Beans

Butter nut squash.

The plants are all but dead. Do they have a life span? Do they just keep going till it freezes?
The squash have started to go tan. But they still don't taste very well. When do you know they are ripe?

Corn

I have had problems.
Would it help now if I started to heavily thin them out?

Cucumbers

I have had lots of flowers but not very may cukes. In years past we always have had lots and lots of them.

Green beans

I decided to plant some green beans for a fall harvest. They are about three inches tall. the leaves are full of holes. Bugs I guess. Any thoughts?
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imafan26
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

Yes, all of the vegetables you mentioned are annuals. They are only good for a single season.
Butternut squash are harvested when they start to take on a tan color and the vine starts to dry up. Mine usually are killed by fungal disease

Same with cucumbers, fungal disease usually ends them, but they will continue to produce as long as the vines are healthy. I don't have the dreaded squash vine borer. There are different kinds of cucumbers. I grow mostly parthenocarpic Suyo cucumbers, it is heat tolerant and burpless. It requires no pollination and produces almost all female flowers. What variety of cucumber do you have and how old is it?

Corn, should have about a foot of space minimum in all directions. They can be thinned when they are young. If they are too close, sometimes you won't get even pollination and some of the corn will be shorter from having so much competition for nutrients and light. There are a few pest problems from leaf chewing beetles, whiteflies, rust, viruses, and corn ear borers. If you have a virus, all you can do is plant a resistant variety, other measures are specific to the problems.

There are two kinds of beans, bush and pole. Bush beans usually are short and produce all of their beans at one time and then they are pretty much done. Pole beans produce a few beans at a time but more continuously as long as the beans are kept picked. Allowing pods to mature on the vine, can stop production. There are a few pest problems beetles will eat the leaves, unless you plant rust and nematode resistant varieties that can be a problem too.

I can't tell where you are from, it is a good idea to add your zone and location to the profile.

Some of the issues are seasonal and some can be avoided by planting slightly out of season if you are able to or being prepared to take care of the problems that do peak at certain times of the year.

If you want crops that have longer production, choose those that are more perennial or are cut and come again. Like asparagus (20 yrs), kale, swiss chard can last a long time and you can harvest the outer leaves rather than the entire plant. Lettuce is short term only about 45 days, but outer leaves can be harvested eary and seeding for successive plantings every couple of weeks extend the harvest. NZ spinach is a substitute that thrives in hot weather in the tropics and is a perennial crop that can be harvested often.
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Taiji
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

With my butternut squash in the past, I try to leave them on the vine as long as possible, even after the vines die, til they're completely tan. But that's just me. In this climate, they don't rot on the vine. Also, I've noticed too, that if I just pick one and eat it right away the flavor leaves a little bit to be desired. But, if you pick one, and let it cure for a couple of weeks, the flavors concentrate and they're much better. Also, (don't get me started!) when I pick my squash for the winter storage, I try to leave on an inch or two of stem. They seem to last longer that way. Ok, I'm done!

imafan26
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

I have left the squash in the garden with the vines dried up. They don't get any sweeter so leaving them on till the last minute helps. I do keep them a few weeks before I use them. The flavor is better after they dry up a bit.
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applestar
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

I have heard that butternut squash is a winter keeper and is the kind that tastes better after about a monthof storage. Winter keeper squash should be stored in warm dry place with air circulation.

This year when I was clearing the corn stalks after they were done, I was impressed by the 3ft leaves and was thinking that jal_ut's insistence that you leave 30" between corn rows makes sense since I always think plants grow root systems that are at least as wide as their leaves span. I would imagine that any closer requires more nutrients. Also, I had volunteer Matts Wild Cherry vines start taking over the corn patch, growing rapidly suckering vines in all directions, and realized that they are probably blocking the corn pollen from falling on the silks (too bad tomato pollen can't pollinate corn -- they drop plenty :kidding:). I think similar problem can occur when corn are too closely jammed up against each other with overlapping leaves. I'm rethinking growing pole beans with corn in that regard -- From previous experience, I had already decided that too vigorous climbers are detrimental to short stature corn as well.

-- I don't know if you can thin them out. It would depend on how much the leaves are entangled. Whether it would help would depend I suppose on where they are in growth and maturity. How any tiers of leaves do they have now? To thin, I think you would need to use loppers and cut them at the base rather than trying to dig out which would damage the roots of ones you want to keep.

Are you getting both male and female flowers on the cucumbers? Yes, knowing the variety would help.

When did you plant the bush(?) beans? 3" tall sounds iffy for harvesting before frost in Utah. Pole beans generally take longer than bush beans to mature. Holes could be slugs as well as bugs. What kind of holes? Once you ID the culprit and take proper measures, you may be able to put up season extending low tunnel over them (if bush beans).
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jal_ut
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

Northern Utah is near the end of the growing season. Frost just around the corner. I usually leave the winter squash on the vine till frost. Yes, butternut is a winter type squash. It will change color when done.

Here the pumpkin vines are near dead . They got powdery mildew

The cucumbers are doing great. Still putting on fruit.

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Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

You get a lot done in your short season, but it helps that you have all that space and long days so while your season is short, it is very productive.
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jal_ut
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

bryce d,

About your corn, nothing you can do now to help much. Too late in the season.

If you plant corn about May 1, and make several rows 30 inches apart with plants about a foot in the rows, you will get some good corn. May I also suggest the variety Ambrosia? Hard one to beat for Northern Utah growers. Oh, yes corn needs nitrogen. Good to amend the soil with compost, manure and leaves in the fall. The alternative is add something from a bag in the spring. Water deeply once a week.

I make several plantings. Once a planting gets two inches tall, I plant another few rows. I have had corn for three weeks now and should have corn for another three or four weeks.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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bryce d
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

This is some really good stuff. I have been making notes, and really looking forward to next year. I can work around some of the mistakes and get a better garden.
If I don't answer quickly I'm out in the garden picking morning glory.

Taiji
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

Wondered if anyone here has ever planted Bodacious corn. It is a single color(yellow), and fairly early, small to medium sized ear. I think it is SE, but not sure. For me here, I have really loved how it has turned out over the years. I have never had a single earworm in any ear (of dozens harvested), and I haven't taken any steps to prevent worms. My theory is that since it is ready fairly quickly, it outgrows the pests. Don't know if that's the reason or not. Usually early corns leave something to be desired flavor wise, but this one is an exception. Creamy texture, sweetness thru the roof, and the ears are always filled out to the end. Maybe it's just something I happened on that works at this elevation and climate here.

Jal-Ut, was wondering if Ambrosia is a bi color? And, how many days to maturity? Thanks.

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jal_ut
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

Yes, Ambrosia is a bicolor corn. Sweet and tender and lasts a long time on the stalk. Also will keep up to two weeks if picked at peak flavor and refrigerated.

Taiji, glad the Bodacious is working for you.
I have grown Bodacious and many other varieties over the years. Now Grow only Ambrosia.
This year no worms in my first crops, but the one that is on now has a few. Not bad. Some years they are lousy. I think there are several factors involved. Yours likely got finished before the moths came through and laid eggs.

This has been a funny year here, hot and clear days. August had no rain at all. We went six weeks with no rain. Some years we get frost by now, but it is still in the upper 80s daytime and 60 at night. That is OK, I am actually getting some tomatoes. :) Also have some ripe cantaloupes. The watermelons are going to make it. I have eaten a couple. Some years this warm weather stuff doesn't make it before frost and to get it to finish, I have to cover it.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Taiji
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

Thanks for the info! I think I'll give Ambrosia a shot next year. The fact that it lasts long on the stalk too is important. Sometimes I don't getting to picking it as quickly as I should!

imafan26
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

I just found out something about corn. All varieties don't do well in all locations. I can grow corn year round, but I just read that it has to be a tropical corn. Some of the temperate hybrids will grow in summer but not in winter. We just don't have long enough days. In addition corn has to be maize mosaic virus resistant as well as a tight husk variety since we don't get a break from the bugs either. I do plant Silver Queen, but I have not been successful growing. Too bad, I would have liked to have tried some of the other hybrids.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Taiji
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Re: Questions re Butternut Squash, Corn, Cucumbers & Green B

I was wondering how good is Silver Queen? The reason I ask is because I have never tried it, but remember reading a long time ago (back in the 70's) that according to a poll of gardeners, Silver Queen won the poll as the best eating corn. Just wondered if that's still true with all the new varieties that have been created in the last few decades. Probably not, but it must still be pretty good!

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