JayPoc
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Cucurbit experiment

For years I've started my cucurbits at the first opportunity, only to lose a large portion of the crop that come ripe during my late July two-week vacation...as well as fighting and mostly losing to the vine borers. So this year, I planted them when I got back from vacation...Actually on July 28th and 29th. Our first frost isn't usually until well into October...sometimes later...so well see? Everything is up as of today, and they were all listed as 55 day varieties on the package. Zuch, yellow squash, and cukes.

If I can get a decent crop, then I'll keep doing it. This let me put the cukes in the same spot as I grew corn, and the squash in the same bed I grew my onions. Should help me maximize my space...

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

yes, I am trying the same thing. Planted some summer squash the end of July to see if maybe they would escape the vine borers that way. They haven't sprouted yet though. :( Old seeds, so they may not. I am leaving on vacation tomorrow AM so I will have to wait until I get back to see what I have from all the seeds I have been planting lately.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

I only got one yellow squash plant started. But here it is now, as of most of a week ago anyway:
summer squash.jpg
You can't see them all in the picture, but there are ten squashes right now, from baby to almost harvestable.

Even if the plant were to die tomorrow, that's more summer squash than I have ever gotten! (because of the blankety-blank vine borers!)
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jal_ut
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

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

SQWIB
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

Awesome, there is a light at the end of the SVB tunnel. Well beat these bastages yet!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

SQWIB wrote:Awesome, there is a light at the end of the SVB tunnel. Well beat these bastages yet!
Yes, I will be very pleased if this turns out to be a way I can actually grow some summer squash. This was planted the very end of July. If it hangs in there long enough to ripen more of those, I will plant more this way next year. My first frost date isn't until about the first of Nov, so I have plenty of time to grow summer squashes in Aug, Sept, Oct. :)
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

So update on the experiment with late planted summer squash. It's so-so. It is still hanging in there and producing and has not gotten attacked by the vine borers, so that's a good thing. But it is starting to get powdery mildew and most of the fruits have had blossom end rot.

So I have still succeeded in producing very few summer squashes. :(

Frustrates me no end, people talk like summer squash is so easy to grow. But it is very susceptible to the vine borers, to powdery mildew, to squash bugs and wilt diseases that they carry. And now blossom end rot. I can grow almost anything else, but not those!!
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applestar
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

Mine is/are hanging in there too as far as I know. Same massive powdery mildew problem which has gone on since end of August when we had that chilly week. Two of the three was also attacked by vine borers, but I managed to get one out and then tried mounding soil over the base 6-8 inches of all three. Eventually one died anyway. The one that wasn't infested has been producing somewhat but tiny fruits. 2nd one was producing but slowed down and is just sitting there now.

I do think it got too cold and moreover, the lowering sun angle has deprived them of most of the sun exposure hours. The house shades the entire area by 3pm. That productive one has at least 1/2 dozen female blossom buds, but did not actually bloom for a couple of weeks while it had gotten cold, but opened a couple of the flowers this week when it warmed up. It's also true I haven't fertilized it so it could have run out of nutrients -- okra I planted in the same bed at blooming and producing ...slowly... at about 3 feet.


Rainbowgardener, About the BER -- last year, as soon as the vine bores caused enough damage to restrict the nutrient flow, the infested plant started showing BER on the fruits even though the leaves were still turgid and showed no sign of wilting. If you don't think the moisture levels and nutrient/mineral levels are the problem, yours might in fact be suffering from vine borer or other physical obstruction. Once I recognized this as one of the symptomatic signs, I inspected more thoroughly and did find SVB wet sawdust and cracked stem on plants that started to have BER fruits.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

RE: Rainbowgardener, About the BER -- last year, as soon as the vine bores caused enough damage to restrict the nutrient flow, the infested plant started showing BER on the fruits even though the leaves were still turgid and showed no sign of wilting. If you don't think the moisture levels and nutrient/mineral levels are the problem, yours might in fact be suffering from vine borer or other physical obstruction. Once I recognized this as one of the symptomatic signs, I inspected more thoroughly and did find SVB wet sawdust and cracked stem on plants that started to have BER fruits.

Interesting, applestar! IME the vine borers kill the plant so fast it doesn't have a chance to keep producing fruit that get BER. But maybe here at the end of the season it is different. Anyway, I will inspect.

I gave up on growing summer squash in Cincinnati. I thought I would try here, but I may once again decide they are more trouble than they are worth. :) Lots of winter squash are in fact easy to grow.
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Gary350
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

Vinegar kills mold in about 60 seconds. Spray plants with full strength 5% kitchen vinegar. Wait 2 minutes rinse plants with fresh water lots of water with the garden hose. Make sure vinegar is gone plants will be fine and mold will be dead. I use pellet lime for BER on, squash, melons, peppers, tomatoes, a 30 lb bag is $8. at Farmers Co-op. Rain must wash the lime away it never lasts all summer it has to be replaced every few weeks. I usually plant 2 squash seeds every 3 weeks all summer to replace dead squash plants but I did not do that this year. I had 6 squash plants this year one by one 4 squash plants died the last 2 plants grew very large 5 ft across making no squash for a month so I cut them down. I usually plant new things all summer as old plants died but did not do that this year. Once pantry was full I was more interested in camping than the garden.

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Gary350
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Re: Cucurbit experiment

I use my shop vac to suck bugs off of plants. It is easy to suck bugs off of squash, stems are pretty solid and do not suck up but bugs suck up easy. I have sucked stink bugs from melons and squash. There were ground hornets in our yard I set the shop vac next to the hole and let it run for 2 days. Shop vac sat in the hot sun for 3 days before I opened it. Bottom of the shop vac was 3" deep in dead hornet bodies. How many dead hornets are in a 14" circle 3" deep?

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