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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.
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.
Squash vine borer larvae hatch and eat their way into the plant's stem near the soil level. Since the pests are hidden inside the plant, most home gardeners have no idea that pests are present until the plants wither and die. A healthy squash plant (left) is shown in a Spalding County, Georgia, garden next to a plant infected with squash vine borers. CAES News
Squash vine borer larvae hatch and eat their way into the plant's stem near the soil level. Since the pests are hidden inside the plant, most home gardeners have no idea that pests are present until the plants wither and die. A healthy squash plant (left) is shown in a Spalding County, Georgia, garden next to a plant infected with squash vine borers.
Winter and Summer Squash
To most Southern gardeners, fried yellow squash or grilled zucchini are staples on the table during the summer. Serving up homegrown winter squash in the fall is worthy of bragging rights. While normally easy to grow, the endless choice of varieties and numerous garden pests have made growing squash a little more challenging.
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 Planting
Squash varieties come in unique shapes and colors. Pattypan is a yellow squash that’s shaped like a star or scallop, while eight-ball is a dark squash that looks like a Magic 8 Ball toy. Summer squash come in straightneck, crookneck, striped, light green, dark green and every shade of yellow. Winter squash come in very different shapes and the traditional favorites include butternut, acorn and buttercup.