My Cucurbits are out of control! Who would have thought nine weeks ago that the bed would go from this…
As you can see, my plants are suffering from a lack of rain. Squash, cucumbers, melons and pumpkins LOVE water, and need lots of it. That was something else I didn’t consider when I planted this bed. Too many water lovers all competing for a drink. I turned the sprinkler on them last night, but we’ll have to figure out a rain barrel drip irrigation system for next year’s plants.
I also need to sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around the base of each plant, as this is where adult Squash Bugs like to hide- especially if you’ve mulched the plants (which I’ve read isn’t best to do around the base of squash and pumpkin plants for this very reason).
Amish farmers use row covers to keep Squash Bugs from laying eggs on the plants in early Summer. I may need to try that next year.
- Don’t plant too many cucurbits together (cucumbers, squash, melons, pumpkins); they’ll fight for water.
- Allow several feet of space between plants to give yourself walking room so you can check for insect problems, etc.
- Don’t mulch too closely to the base of your plants. Unmulched mounds are a good place to plant squash and pumpkin seeds.
- Sprinkle D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) around the base of the plants in late Spring.
- Row covers can be helpful in keeping Squash Bugs at bay.
- Another helpful tip: Allowing chickens to clean up the squash bed at the end of the season will help clear out any pests that may be hiding until next year.
As I navigated my way around the plants, I did spot a few winter squashes growing in our patch. Let’s hope they do well!
What squash planting tips can you add? What organic methods have you found for killing squash bugs naturally?