Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mosaic Stepping Stones

Thinking ahead and in preparation for the next garden sale, we are busy making stepping stones and decorating pots.

It is a lot of fun and the results are amazing.  See Kurt's coy above.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Growing Squash

Types of  Squash

            Grow the short maturity varieties
            Look for varieties resistant to powdery mildew

            Summer squash ( zucchini, crook or straight neck, patty pan)

                        Soft skins (not good for storage)
                        Bushy plants
                        Shorter harvest time
                        Plant in the spring (Feb-Mar.) Try replanting in Aug. and squash bugs may                                     be less      of a problem

            Winter squash (hubbard, butternut, acorn, pumpkins)

                        Hard skins (good for long term storage)
                        Mostly long, vining plants
                        Plant in Aug. for harvest in Nov.

Fruit set     

            ŸNot getting fruit:  May need to pollinate by hand.  Male has stem only below the flower   
                        Female has a bulb before the flower
                        Can take a small brush and brush pollen from one flower to the next

            ŸAiding pollination:

                        Plant pollinating flowers among your squash plants
                        Sunflowers are great pollinator attractors and make a hedge of shade.


            Mulch 4-6” around plants for moisture retention but not up against the stems
            Long and slow deep watering 1-2x’s a week for deep penetration
            Increase the number of days as temperatures heat up

            Mid day wilt is natural with squash.  If the plants refresh in the early evening or                   morning, do not water more.  If it stays wilted, increase the duration and possibly add another day.

            Squash needs shade at the hottest part of the day (3-7 PM) 


Pests and Diseases                           

            ŸDealing with powdery mildew (a white powdery residue on the leaves): 
             Causes :  over watering, crowded plants
            ŸSquash Bugs: Stages: egg, nymph, adult

            Check the tops and undersides of the leaves for the eggs which are reddish brown                         in a cluster.  Remove the leaves infested immediately, squash them, put them in a           plastic grocery bag tied up tightly and throw them in the trash can.  Do not compost any infected leaves.  (See Bug chart on bulletin board in the shed.)

            Neem oil will kill the nymphs but not the adults.

Prepared by Pam Smyth 4/23/13

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Desert Star

Short lived but rich enough to fill the heart for a long time.