What's Going On With My Seedlings?People have been turning to gardening in droves this year, and for one reason or another, they’re into growing their own food.
A lot of new gardeners, though, are finding it difficult to either get those seeds to germinate, or keep those seedlings going.
Here are some of the common problems:
- Seeds germinate and grow for a while then die. Number 1 culprit is drying out.
- Seedlings are for the most part growing in a shallow soil and all it takes is for a bit of warm weather, then unless you're there on the spot to water them, they shrivel up and die.
- Seedlings growing in moist soil because you've somehow managed to keep them hydrated. If they keel over at this point, it's due to 'damping off.' The seedlings is attacked by fungal or bacterial infection, the end result of which is death of your seedlings.
- Overwatering and poor airflow is another possibility.
- Seaweed solution may help with overcoming this problem.
- Watering with a tea with strong antimicrobial properties, such as strong chamomile or cinnamon tea may work as a preventative.
- Create a clean environment as possible by (a)sterilising your soil by placing it in the oven for 30 minutes at high temperatures and (b) wipe down pots and benches with a 10% solution of bleach.
- Seedlings just sitting with no growth for weeks are a sign of insufficient fertiliser. Water in a liquid fertiliser immediately and follow up as per dosage instructions.
- Although, one thing to watch out for:The seeds have germinated but mysteriously, the tops get chewed off.
I’m still wondering how the slug go into the closed mini-greenhouse and ate my basil seedlings.
I’m talking with Steve Falcioni from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au
If you have any questions about seedlings, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 2rrr PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675
Summer Button Squash is the yellow or green saucer shaped members of the Cucurbit family that includes pumpkins, melons and zucchinis. Cucurbita pepo.If you don’t like the taste and texture of Button Squash, some even call patty pan squash, maybe you need to buy a different variety to zhuszh up your taste buds.
A Bit of History
Did you know that squash comes from a native
American word which means eaten raw or uncooked?
No surprises that archaeologists have traced
squash origins to Mexico, dating back from 7,000 to 5,500 BC.
- In terms of nutrients, button squash give
bananas a run for their money.
Button squash are small veggies that look a bit
like space ships with scalloped edges.
It’s a twining vine with large, broad, spiny,
lobed leaves and an angled, prickly green stem.
Squash grow to between 3 and 5cm in size, and
the vines like to spread out, but will follow a trellis if they’re tied to
- Seeds can be planted individually into small
holes or planted on small mounds, three to five to a mound. If you’re doing the mound method, when the
seeds sprout, pinch off the weakest vines until only the strongest one is
left. It’s better to pinch off the weak vines, as
pulling them will disturb the roots of the strong one.
- Like a lot of vining veggies, they take up a
lot of space, but one squash plant can produce a lot of squash. Unless
you’re feeding an army only plant one or two mounds of squash then.
Squash have male and female flowers that bees,
flies, wasp or other creatures must pollinate it. Only after
fertilisation, grow those little buttons.
If you got male and female flowers but not too
many squash, plant plenty of flowers alongside your squash otherwise you’ll end
up having to hand pollinate using an artist’s paintbrush.
Mostly gardeners start to worry when they see only
It is perfectly normal for the males to arrive
first, and, they do so in big numbers.
A week or so goes by without any ladies
appearing, and you are beginning to think there's a problem.
Mostly gardeners start to worry when they see only male flower.
It is perfectly normal for the males to arrive first, and, they do so in big numbers.
A week or so goes by without any ladies appearing, and you are beginning to think there's a problem.
- The female flowers usually arrive 10-14 days
after you spot the first male. (Sometimes it takes a little longer than this).Once the ladies appear, there’ll only be a few
at a time.
- The male flowers greatly out-number the female
- It’s fairly uncommon for females flowers to
arrive first but does occasionally happen.
- The female flowers usually arrive 10-14 days after you spot the first male. (Sometimes it takes a little longer than this).Once the ladies appear, there’ll only be a few at a time.
- The male flowers greatly out-number the female flowers.
- It’s fairly uncommon for females flowers to arrive first but does occasionally happen.
Squash are, like most vegetables, heavy feeders
and need lots of fertilizer and water.
- Don’t over fertilize with chook poo pellets or
you’ll have big plants and no squash.
- The vining types of squash need the extra space
and will invade even more space if allowed, so carefull planning may be needed.
- Water requirements are high and you really need
to be on top of keeping up the watering for your button squash during hot
weather and when fruit is filling out. If you don’t, you’re very likely get shedding of flowers and
partly formed fruit.
- Button squash grows very quickly and will start
producing us in about 8 weeks.
Pick your button squash carefully by cutting them from the vine through their stem.
- Did you know that button squash need to be harvested often even commercially because of their very soft skin and so they’re very labour intensive to grow?
- Picking should be done regularly, at least every day as the fruit develops.
- If you leave your squash on the plants too long they’ll stop growing new ones altogether.
- Picking your Summer squash at about 2 ½- 3 cms in size is when they’re at their most tasty.
Some varieties from various online seed suppliers.
There’s a French heirloom variety Squash Jaune Et Verte especially for those of you who are not convinced about the merits of growing squash.
New Gippsland Seeds-Golden Ruffles Hybrid is a Yellow Button Squash- High quality button squash capable of tremendous yields. Fruit gold, often with a green end spot. Tasty and popular.
Eden seeds_EARLY WHITE BUSH SCALLOPED Known pre 1722
Greenish-white skin, with lots of round flat fruit on a bushy plant. Best when picked young. 46-60 days.
Scalloped patty pan squash, pale green, harvest 7.5cm—10cm, fine texture, medium sized bush, very productive over a long period, popular traditional variety for home gardens. 47-56 days.
Seeds per packet: 17
Why are they good for you?
Summer squash is very low in calories and high in fibre.
Button squash is rich in beta-carotene an excellent source of vitamin C, folic acid and calcium.
One cup of summer squash has nearly as much potassium as a banana!
They also contain the valuable mineral nutrient phosphorus.
Button squash are vitamin C
The darker skinned squash supply some beta carotene.
Did I say they were low in calories?
100g of squash has just between 85 and 105kJ.
THAT WAS YOUR VEGETABLE HERO FOR TODAY