Planting Squash and Cucumbers
On this week’s episode, Travis plants a bumper crop of squash and cucumbers in the garden area. The first step in planting a bumper crop is to mark off the rows and lay the drip irrigation in the desired area. Travis has a 30 by 35-foot wide subplot area and is going to lay six rows that have five-feet spacing. To lay down the rows and drip irrigation, Travis is going to use the F.A.D. system which is furrow, amend, and drip. He will take the Double Wheel Hoe with the plow set and create a furrow in a straight line where the rows will lay. Next, take a good quality compost and lightly sprinkle it along the garden furrows. Then, with the drip tape layer attachment, he will lay the drip tape in the furrows while covering it up at the same time which will give us buried irrigation and compost that will give our plants plenty of nutrients throughout the growing season. For any kind of plant that needs trellising, Travis likes to use galvanized cattle panels that you can get from any kind of hardwood store. He uses t-posts on the ends and middle to help support the cattle panels along the 30-foot row using zip ties. Another thing to remember about trellising cucumbers is to plant them along the edge of the subplot because they tend to sprawl out along the garden. Therefore, if you plant the cucumbers in the middle of the garden they will end up crawling all over your other plants.
Squash and Cucumber Varieties
The first bumper crop of squash that is going to be planted is the Goldprize variety. This is a hybrid straightneck variety that produces bountiful yellow fruits that contain an excellent disease package. The next squash variety being planted is the Sunburst which is known as a “patty pan” that produces bright yellow fruits with scalloped edges and green rings in the center interior. Another “patty pan” variety being planted is an heirloom known as Bennings Green. This is a productive variety that produces light green fruits with scalloped edges as well. The two varieties of zucchini that are going to be planted in the garden is Spineless Beauty and Golden Delight. When it comes to planting cucumbers the two most productive varieties is Calypso and Stonewall. Both of these cucumber varieties are gynoecious meaning they only produce female flowers which makes them extremely productive in the vegetable garden.
Controlling Fungal Diseases
An important aspect of growing squash and cucumbers is fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and downy mildew can become a problem. One thing that will feed these diseases is excessive leaf moisture so to control this moisture he likes to use certain spray treatments such as the Liquid Copper or Complete Disease Control. However, the major key to eliminating leaf moisture is using drip irrigation instead of overhead watering in the garden. When using drip tape you can ensure that the water is going directly to the plant roots where the crops need it the most and not on the leaves caused by overhead watering. In the end, we will have fewer disease problems and healthier plants in the vegetable garden.