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Monday, June 27, 2011

Weather Has Profound Affect on Bees and Summer Squash Development

Readers yellow squash with fruit turning oranage and dying
Q. I have had great success growing both yellow and green squash in my garden for the past five or six years.  Last month I harvested about ten nice pieces, but in the past couple of weeks they have all been turning very hard and the yellow pieces have turned dark and almost orange.  I have attached a couple of pictures of both the fruit and the plants.  Please let me know if you any suggestions.

A. Your summer squash looks nice.  You will get more blemish free fruits with twice to three times a week sprays of insecticidal soaps including spraying the undersides of the leaves. The lack of squash development is due to poor pollination most likely due to cool weather and poor bee activity.

Readers yellow summer squash when it is producing
            You can attract more bees to the area by planting plants that bees love and flower at the times your vegetable garden needs pollination. Bee loving plants include many of the herbs which are allowed to flower. These might include rosemary, basil, lavender, oregano and thyme to name a few.

            Woody ornamental plants typically flower for short periods of time but there are some like Texas Ranger, brooms like Scotch broom, lantana, verbena, and others. Go to your nursery and see what is in bloom, particularly reds, purples, pinks and start planting.

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