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.
Not getting fruit: May need to pollinate by hand. Male has stem only below the flowerFemale has a bulb before the flower
Can take a small brush and brush pollen from one flower to the next
Plant pollinating flowers among your squash plantsSunflowers are great pollinator attractors and make a hedge of shade.
Mulch 4-6” around plants for moisture retention but not up against the stemsLong 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
Dealing with powdery mildew (a white powdery residue on the leaves):Causes : over watering, crowded plants
Squash 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