Wondering if people are thinking strategically about harvesting squash earlier this season because of the wet? I haven’t had experience with squash rotting, but thinking I should be worried about this. Thoughts, experiences, suggestions?
I’ve never had that problem, but then again I’ve never had so much water that I thought it would be an issue. Weirdly enough we have had very little rain in the London area this summer.
I don’t know how much squash you have, but you could elevate them off the ground with little plastic market pints which would keep some of the critters away and keep them dry. It can be time consuming but worth it if it saves your squash.
I see it as sort of a gamble. We pulled our onions as they were developing some sort of fungus (we suspect downy mildew) and we felt as if we might lose them otherwise.
We also had frost temperatures for two days each the last 2 weeks (yes, our first patchy frost was in late August this year, the first time since my great-grandmother was a market gardener!) so we pulled some of our exposed winter squash. The resulting harvest was disappointing as the fruit was not yet mature, and we figure that the storability and taste will be greatly affected.
Our delicata squash were ripe, however, and have all been harvested and are curing.
Bottom line is: is it better to have possibly undermature winter squash or none at all?
@fieldgoodfarms Did you consider laying down some frost-protecting row cover (P30) during the frost periods and removing them during the day?
Of course, Denis, thanks for the suggestion. We have done this with our tomatoes as they have yet to ripen in any significant numbers.
We will have another giant row cover on our wish list for this year so that we don’t have to make the choice.
All in all, though, we’ve had a freak year, but we are still doing OK, so it might not be worth the extra effort for the squash, given that the majority of the plants were unaffected.
I feel you, it took forever for tomatoes to ripen over here too. It definitely was a strange year, but nowhere near as bad as last year’s drought conditions, thankfully!
Thanks Denis and @fieldgoodfarms! Looks like the decision to leave them has been a good one- things have been hot and dry here for a while now allowing the butternut to size up, and most are starting to look ripe.
Rough year on our farm for garlic and tomatoes, however 3 tomato varieties are still pumping out tomatoes (about 5 weeks worth now) where the majority of the other varieties gave up to blight after about 2 weeks of ripe tomatoes. I wish I had kept better records of where I planted what varieties!