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I’m almost embarrassed to share I have problems growing summer squash!! I think it’s me as some friends seem to do well. Most places I’ve lived it’s the usual situation where you grow so much you stick a bag on a neighbors porch, ring the bell and run away! LOL I am in the AZ high desert about 4500ft. We have hot days and cool nights (until summer) so the plants are wilted by the end of the day. Is that enough info for a diagnosis? Thank you!


2 answers

  1. Trust me, you can grow squash. Sometimes if something doesn't work it doesn't mean you can't grow that plant. But it may mean that you need to grow that plant in a different location, improve the soil, or even grow a different variety. Summer squash grows best in a sunny area and soil rich in organic matter--and it is a heavy feeder. It's important to keep the leaves and stems dry when watering, which makes soaker hoses or drip irrigation ideal as the roots need consistent moisture.

    Given your climate, a sunken bed--rather than a raised bed--might work best as this will keep soil temperatures cooler and retain more moisture. So will mulch, but use black plastic, compost, grass clippings or other more compact mulch matter to deter squash bugs. (The bugs prefer to hang out in loose mulches like straw.)

    Speaking of bugs, check your plants for squash bugs, and check the base of your vines for evidence of the squash vine borer, which leaves a clearcut trail of yellow-green squash dust around the entrance hole. Both insects can cause wilting in squash plants. Trichogramma wasps are a natural enemy of the squash vine borer, and the tachinid fly is a natural predator of the squash bug. Interplanting your squash with radishes will deter both bad bugs, but you need to plant radish seeds about two to three weeks before as it works best when the radishes are flowering. And most important of all--rotate your squash plants to avoid plant-specific diseases and pests that overwinter in the soil. Good luck!

    1. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      Thank you!!

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