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Pictured is what downy mildew disease looks like on a watermelon leaf. Downy mildew disease has been found in three southern Georgia counties so far this spring. CAES News
Pictured is what downy mildew disease looks like on a watermelon leaf. Downy mildew disease has been found in three southern Georgia counties so far this spring.
Downy Mildew
Georgia vegetable farmers should be on alert as downy mildew disease has been spotted in at least three southern Georgia counties this spring. Additional counties could follow as weather conditions remain favorable for the disease into early June, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta.
This photo shows what a crop looks like when it's protected with row covers for four weeks (left) versus being left without row covers (right). CAES News
This photo shows what a crop looks like when it's protected with row covers for four weeks (left) versus being left without row covers (right).
Row Covers
Row covers, material used to protect plants from the cold and wind, can also protect squash from disease-carrying squash bugs and other insect pests, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Plant Pathologist Elizabeth Little.
Whiteflies seen on a squash leaf. CAES News
Whiteflies seen on a squash leaf.
Whitefly Management
University of Georgia entomologists advise farmers to kill crops capable of hosting whiteflies after the crop is harvested a final time. Crops left in the field could continue to serve as hosts.
Cucurbit leaf crumple virus, a disease carried by whiteflies, infects vegetable plants like squash (pictured). CAES News
Cucurbit leaf crumple virus, a disease carried by whiteflies, infects vegetable plants like squash (pictured).
Whitefly management
Summer may have ended, but Georgia’s silverleaf whitefly infestation has not.
A yellow squash matures on the vine of a squash plant growing in Butts County, Georgia. CAES News
A yellow squash matures on the vine of a squash plant growing in Butts County, Georgia.
Squash Struggles
Pests and diseases make summer squash one of the most challenging vegetables to grow in Georgia home gardens, according to University of Georgia plant pathologist Elizabeth Little, who studies plant diseases and control methods at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
University of Georgia graduate student Zach Matteen conducted trials on 11 varieties of winter squash at UGA's Durham Horticulture Farm in Watkinsville, Georgia, on land used to grow organic crops. Matteen tested winter squash varieties 'Waltham' butternut, 'Zeppelin' delicata, 'Metro PMR' butternut, Seminole pumpkin, Choctaw sweet potato, 'Thai Kang Kob' tropical pumpkin, 'Thelma Sanders' sweet potato and a fifth-generation cross of 'Waltham' butternut and Seminole pumpkin. He found that the two sweet potato squashes and Seminole, tropical and tan cheese pumpkins held up best against squash pests and diseases. CAES News
University of Georgia graduate student Zach Matteen conducted trials on 11 varieties of winter squash at UGA's Durham Horticulture Farm in Watkinsville, Georgia, on land used to grow organic crops. Matteen tested winter squash varieties 'Waltham' butternut, 'Zeppelin' delicata, 'Metro PMR' butternut, Seminole pumpkin, Choctaw sweet potato, 'Thai Kang Kob' tropical pumpkin, 'Thelma Sanders' sweet potato and a fifth-generation cross of 'Waltham' butternut and Seminole pumpkin. He found that the two sweet potato squashes and Seminole, tropical and tan cheese pumpkins held up best against squash pests and diseases.
Winter Squash
By determining the varieties best suited for the area, University of Georgia graduate student Zach Matteen is on a mission to convince more backyard gardeners and farmers to grow winter squash. He has found that Seminole, tropical and tan cheese pumpkins, as well as Choctaw and 'Thelma Sanders' sweet potato squashes, hold up best against squash pests and diseases.
Tim Coolong, UGA vegetable horticulturist, looks for squash in a plot on the UGA Tifton Campus. CAES News
Tim Coolong, UGA vegetable horticulturist, looks for squash in a plot on the UGA Tifton Campus.
Hard Squash
Georgia growers produce hard squash in the spring to avoid tremendous virus pressure in the fall, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist Tim Coolong.
GM crops chart CAES News
GM crops chart
GMO Safety
Genetically modified foods are tested for safety testing before they reach the marketplace. It can take over a decade and cost tens of millions of dollars, and as a result, GMOs are the most safety-tested foods in history, says University of Georgia plant breeding and plant genetics expert Wayne Parrott.
A syrphid or flower fly hovers over a swamp sunflower bloom. The tiny insect is sometimes called a hover fly because its flight pattern resembles that of a hovering hummingbird. CAES News
A syrphid or flower fly hovers over a swamp sunflower bloom. The tiny insect is sometimes called a hover fly because its flight pattern resembles that of a hovering hummingbird.
Pollinator Plan
Many food items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, would never make it to grocery store or farmers market shelves without the help of beneficial insects like honeybees and butterflies. The number of these pollinating insects in the U.S. is declining, and to help, Georgia agricultural experts developed a statewide plan to teach gardeners and landscapers how to care for their plants and protect these vulnerable insects that are vital to food production.
Green beans grow up a trellis in a Spalding County, Ga., garden. CAES News
Green beans grow up a trellis in a Spalding County, Ga., garden.
Garden Plan
This time of the year gardeners get excited about their soon-to-be-planted spring vegetable gardens. They envision lush rows of perfect pods of peas, scrumptiously delicious sweet corn and big, beautiful tomatoes. University of Georgia Extension urges gardeners to wait and put some thought and vision into their garden first.