Summer Squash - Knowledgebase Question

Raymond, NH
Question by bigbirdk
January 31, 1998
The last few years, I've watched as my summer squash harvest has steadily fallen off. I've tried both crookneck and straight varieties but nothing seems to help. One year, powdery mildew was a concern. Please send some tips!


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Answer from NGA
January 31, 1998

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Let's start with some basics: Squash needs full sunshine and likes a soil that's well-amended with organic matter. Try spreading 4-6 inches of compost or aged manure over the garden, tilling it in, and then planting your squash seeds. Squash alsolikes lots of water during the summer. If your plants are not producing, perhaps they're not getting the sunlight and water they require. Another concern might be when you're planting. There are some varieties that require longer growing seasons than others. Try planting "Early Golden Summer" or "Peter Pan Hybrid". Both these varieties will mature in just 50 days. If powdery mildew is attacking your plants, they're not getting enough sunlight, or they're too crowded and there's not enough air circulation to keep the leaves healthy. Sometimes powdery mildew attacks the leaves of squash plants in the late fall when the plants have finished producing and the weather conditions are just right. Be sure to remove the diseased plant material from the garden before the powdery mildew can spread to other plants.

Hope your harvest is better next year!

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