Joseph Lofthouse wrote:If I had a recommendation for growers in Florida, heck in any location, it would be to ditch the commercial varieties of squash, and start growing your own locally-adapted varieties...
Brady Cotton wrote:A third of my backyard is dedicated to our garden. I live in Land O Lakes, FL where it is typically hot and humid. We have covered this 1/3 area in tree clippings from tree companies doing tree removal. I have two Hugels that border the garden, an in ground container garden, and a standard garden bed. I have yellow and butternut squash growing in containers, two varieties of zucchini in containers (all in ground containers) and more of these varieties in several areas of the hugels. Where the squash will grow like crazy, they are hit non-stop with aphids, really bad by spider mites, and little green worms that I believe are cabbage worms. The pumpkins were infested so quick that they never got started and died out. I have tried neem oil, diluted Dawn, and DE powder. I continue to check daily on the top and under the leaves and it will appear that over night a plant or two will become riddled with these webs, turn yellow and brown with holes in them, and then start to die off. The hugels and containers are providing adequate water from my "touch" tests with my fingers (digging into and feeling) and I am applying some organic fertilizer (as they are already using composted cow manure and bat guano). I don't see the plants are stressed but just continually attacked to where they have no hope. I continually cut off the bad leafs, the plant will bounce back, then get infested again. This occurs over and over. Some zucchini has shown then will not complete but will rot off. Squash will start to show, appear stunted, and rot. Butternut fruits, appears stunted, and rots out.
I have added some chives, peppermint, and other strong smelling herbs to the hugels to deter some of the pest, fail for me. I have created some garlic oil spray, fail.
I have read over and over University of Florida's site on these varieties and the pests as well as Clemson's and to my knowledge I am doing what is said, yet I get no yield and continually fight pests.
If anyone has any thoughts, please share. I am open for anything. I feel if I can control the pests, I will get a yield as the plants are growing well, but are just so damaged by pests they are stressed to the max.
I will post pics if needed to share thoughts.