The two P’s that you want to be mindful of when you’re growing squash are pests and pollination.
First of all, pests. The three big pests for squash are squash vine borers, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs. This year I started the seeds inside. When I moved the plants out here to the bed, I covered them up with a row cover and I kept them covered up until the plants were too big and they were flowering. Then I removed the row cover and I’ve been watching and the squash vine borers don’t seem to have taken hold yet. I’ve been watching the vines and they don’t have that kind of split look that they start to get when the squash vine borers attack. I also have seen no squash bugs and very few cucumber beetles. I do continue to treat with neem oil and that seems to be helping.
So far this year, I’m getting much more squash . The plants are beautiful. They’re looking good.
The other thing is pollination. Squash do rely on pollination to actually grow fruits. So, there are male flowers and female flowers and basically the pollen from the male flower needs to get to the female flower. If you don’t know what a male flower and a female flower looks like, here is a female flower. You see, it looks like it has a little, looks like a little tiny baby fruit with a flower on the end of it.
And then here’s the male flower.
Some people when they hand pollinate, they take a paint brush or a Q tip and they take it from the male flower and transfer the pollen to the female flower. What I do, just because it’s easier, is I actually pick the male flower and then I peel the flower itself back and I just take the female flower and I paint the inside of it with male flower. Then basically you just want to get the pollen from the male flower into the female flower and there your ensured adequate pollination and better fruit.
I hope you have a great garden year this year and I’m wishing for you lots of squash.
Let me know what questions you have in the comments.