On this week’s episode, we discuss growing summer squash and cucumbers. Summer squash and cucumbers are in the cucurbit family. These plants have a relatively fast maturity date, but can be susceptible to fungal diseases as temperatures increase. Diseases like powdery mildew and downy mildew can cause problems on squash plants once humidity levels increase in early summer. Drip irrigation drastically helps to alleviate those pressures by reducing leaf moisture. Summer squash and cucumbers are also susceptible to insect pressure from cucumber beetles, squash bugs and more. These insects are easily controlled in the larval stage, but can be difficult to manage once adult populations bloom. Using B.t. early can help to prevent large adult populations. Crop rotation and proper removal of crop debris are also extremely important when growing cucurbits. Fungal spores and insect eggs can overwinter in the garden soil and cause problems in future years. Therefore, it’s important to move these plants from year to year to prevent recurring issues. Some of our favorite varieties of summer squash include Sunburst, Golden Delight and Goldprize. Some of our favorite cucumber varieties include Calypso and Stonewall. Both of these varieties are gynoecious, which means they only produce female flowers and are extremely productive.
On the Show & Tell segment, we taste a sample of yellow carrots that have recently been harvested from Travis’ garden. This variety is called Yellowstone and has always performed well in fall and spring. It produces very large, bright yellow carrots that are sweet and delicious. Greg also has some asparagus that he enjoys raw or cooked on the grill.
On the Q & A segment, we answer questions about tomato cross pollination and “topping” peppers. Tomatoes are self-pollinating, but natural cross pollination can occur, although rare. Most people, including us, have had no problems with planting multiple varieties of tomatoes in the same row. Greg mentions that he’s never heard of “topping”, or removing the apical meristem, on peppers. He says that he doesn’t see any benefit to doing that.