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Squash Questions

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Squash Questions

Post  thill on 7/8/2011, 9:24 am

I have two crookneck squash plants. When I have females that are about 3 inches long but still have a closed blossom on the end, they die. Am I not catching it open in time to hand pollinate (I have no bees) or did they somehow get pollinated and I'm missing the time to harvest it?

Also, they are now starting to get leaves on the bottom that are dying...is this the result of the dreaded SVB? Or is it just so stinking hot here that I'm overwatering?

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Re: Squash Questions

Post  WardinWake on 7/8/2011, 4:40 pm

@thill wrote:I have two crookneck squash plants. When I have females that are about 3 inches long but still have a closed blossom on the end, they die. Am I not catching it open in time to hand pollinate (I have no bees) or did they somehow get pollinated and I'm missing the time to harvest it?

Also, they are now starting to get leaves on the bottom that are dying...is this the result of the dreaded SVB? Or is it just so stinking hot here that I'm overwatering?

Howdy Thill:

Does not sound like SVB. SVB will kill the entire plant, seemingly overnight. The Squash Bug may be causing you problems as will the heat.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  petals1973 on 7/9/2011, 12:25 am

Hello neighbor! Mine are doing the same thing. My female flowers are not even getting 3 inches long they are just shriveling up on the vine way before they can flower. All of my squashes are doing that. I have both summer and winter squash planted. Out of 14 squash plants I have harvested 3 early straightneck and 2 spaghetti squash. I hope it is just the heat and that it will cool off a little.

I've searched online and the only thing I could find is that it is maybe fruit abortion but I think that happens after pollination & mine are not getting to that stage.
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  thill on 7/9/2011, 8:54 am

Hey Petals1973, you truly are a neighbor lol. I have one squash that looks like it may actually make it, but I've thought that before about the others so we'll see.

Let me ask you, how frequently are you watering with these triple digit temps we're having? I think I'm watering every other day (after checking my soil just to make sure it needs it) but it still feels like I'm overwatering.

This was my first attempt at gardening and it took the 4th raised bed for me to get it almost right (took that long for me to learn about SFG). I had already had a huge bag of MG soil that I added my compost to along with expanded shale (couldn't find vermiculite at the time). I've harvested 3 green peppers, 1 jalapeno pepper and a tomato that an animal (squirrel I'm pretty sure) took a bite out of. It's been a learning experience but next season I'll know exactly what to use from the get-go.

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Re: Squash Questions

Post  CarolynPhillips on 7/9/2011, 9:48 am

I have never seen a female squash that shriveled before it opened to pollinate. It has also happened after they opened and wasn't pollinated. Also, in very high temps, even if the female was pollinated , it can and most likely will abort. I start new squash plants for late summer and fall production.
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  petals1973 on 7/9/2011, 1:03 pm

Thill,

I am watering twice a day. Once in the morning usually before 11am and once around 7pm. Up until yesterday all of my plants looked healthy and happy. We went to Killeen Thursday and came back around 6 last night. I had someone water Thursday night for me but I thought missing the water yesterday morning would be fine. Every plant looked pitiful last night. Everything was limp or shriveled up and even some dried out. I lost about half of my bean plants. All of their leaves were dried out. I hope they make a comeback. I have everything planted in 6" raised beds with mel's mix. The only things that were not affected were my plants in pots they are mostly filled with landscaper's mix at the bottom and 6" off mel's mix at the top. I'm thinking that maybe I need to double the height of my beds for next summer.

I hope your squash makes it. If you are still wanting squash this season I found that Willhite's carries a 35 day zucchini (they are out of Weatherford). I have planted some so we will see how it goes. They sent me 100 seeds so if you would like to try them I'll be happy to share. I live right off of I-20 close to the Parks mall.

I'll try to get pics of my shriveled unopened flowers & try to post them later.

Have a great day!!

Margarita
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  thill on 7/9/2011, 11:19 pm

Margarita, you're not far from me at all. I'm just a little north of I20 off Beltline (FM1382).

I'm debating whether to plant anything at all during this heat and with all of the disappointments I've had so far, I don't know if I have it in me lol. Let me think on it a couple of days and I will let you know. Thank you so much for the offer!!!

Tracy

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Re: Squash Questions

Post  westx on 7/9/2011, 11:29 pm

Tracy it is the heat most likely that is causing the problems. I am in Midlothian and just pulled all my squash plants yesterday. We have been eating squash since May and I probably picked 3 bushels off of 5 plants. I mulch everyting with straw so only water every other day but the last week I have been giving things a little more than normal. Was really over watering my matters as they were starting to split so cut back on them. Getting ready to start the fall garden next week. I am redoing my boxes this weekend so should be ready to go. Fall gardens actually do better in these parts and IMHO the fruit taste better when picked in the fall.

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Re: Squash Questions

Post  petals1973 on 7/10/2011, 12:10 am

Tracy,

I think it is worth a try. They are just seeds. You will be greatly rewarded if the plants do well. Let me know!

Margarita
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  petals1973 on 7/10/2011, 12:12 am

Westx,

I'm going to have to look into the mulch thing. Cutting down on watering would be so nice.

Margarita
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  thill on 7/10/2011, 11:29 am

I appreciate all of the replies, thank you! Westx, I may have to try the straw next summer.

Westx and Margarita,

As I mentioned in my original post, this was my first attempt at gardening. What veggies do you do for fall here? Do you start them all from seedlings? I've been doing a little research on it but it's hard for me to get it wrapped around my head that you can do more than one season.

Tracy

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Re: Squash Questions

Post  petals1973 on 7/10/2011, 11:51 am

This is my first year also. I've bought seed for the fall but I also keep checking Redenta's to see what they get in. FarmerValerie would know. She lives in our region. I'm going to try to use this as a guideline for planting.

http://agrilife.org/urbantarranthorticulture/resources/recommended-planting-dates-for-north-texas/

Hope this helps. Glad to have someone learning with me!!

Margarita
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  westx on 7/10/2011, 5:14 pm

Margarita

That is the exact list I go by now. I have planted by the Old Farmers Almanac for many years and still refer to it from time to time.

Tracy

As you look over the list from the link posted above you will see that most everything you plant in the spring can be planted for fall. The cool season crops do really well in the fall and IMHO have a much better taste.

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Re: Squash Questions

Post  petals1973 on 7/11/2011, 2:22 am

Westx,

I have family that lives in Midlothian. It is a beautiful area. They are on an acre of land & all I can do when I think about their massive back yard is wonder how many SFG boxes I could fit in there. LOL.

Have you ever tried to grow celery in this area?

thanks!

Margarita
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Re: Squash Questions

Post  thill on 7/13/2011, 10:14 pm

Well, a few days went by and when I went to do my nightly watering tonight on my garden, one of the two squash plants was dead. I slit the stem and sure enough, an SVB was laying there with an evil grin on its face. Sad

Soooo, at this point, since I'm not getting anything to harvest and I'm not even getting any blossoms anymore, I've decided to go ahead and just rip everything up and start over for fall. Even with the disappointments I've dealt with since I first started my garden, I discovered that I enjoy it.

Margarita, I would love to get those seeds from you if the offer is still good. My plan is to be over that way on Saturday, I've got to go to Babies R Us for my granddaughter's birthday. Let me know if there is a good time that is convenient for you (or on another day if need be)
!

Tracy

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Re: Squash Questions

Post  petals1973 on 7/13/2011, 10:58 pm

Tracy,

The offer is still good. You are welcome to any of my seeds. I have nothing planned until Sunday. That is when a/c guy is coming to fix our unit. Other then that and watering I am free. That is if you count chasing a 2 year old and a 6 year old "free".

Will you be planting tomatoes? I have tons of suckers that need to be removed and I could just root some for you if you would like. I'll pm you my e-mail and cell number.

Margarita
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