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James E. Ells, E. Gordon Kruse, and Ann E. McSay

An irrigation scheduling program has been developed for zucchini squash that produced high yields and high water use efficiency with, a minimum number of irrigations. The irrigation program is based upon a soil water balance model developed by the USDA. This irrigation program is available in diskette form and may be used with any IBM compatible personal computer provided wind run, temperature, solar radiation, humidity and precipitation data are available.

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Charles L. Webber III and James W. Shrefler

Although CGM has been identified as an organic herbicide for weed control in turf and established vegetable plants, direct contact with vegetable seeds can decrease crop seedling development and plant survival by inhibiting root and shoot development. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of banded corn gluten meal applications on squash plant survival and yields. This factorial field study was conducted during Summer 2005 on 81-cm-wide raised beds at Lane, Okla., with two application configurations (banded and solid), two CGM formulations (powdered and granulated), two incorporation treatments (incorporated and nonincorporated), and three application rates (250, 500, and 750 g·m–2). The two CGM formulations at three application rates were uniformly applied in both banded and solid patterns on 19 Aug. The banded application created a 7.6-cm wide CGM-free planting zone in the middle of the raised bed. The CGM applications were then either incorporated into the top 2.5 to 5.0 cm of the soil surface with a rolling cultivator or left undisturbed on the soil surface. `Lemondrop' summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was then direct-seeded into the center of the raised beds. When averaged across the other factors, there was no significant difference between powdered and granulated CGM formulations or incorporating and nonincorporating the CGM for either squash plant survival or yields. As the CGM application rates increased the plant survival and yields decreased. Banded application resulted in significantly greater crop safety (90% plant survival) and yields (445 cartons/ha) than the broadcast (solid) applications (45% plant survival and 314 cartons/ha). The research demonstrated the potential usefulness of CGM in direct-seeded squash production, if used in banded application configuration.

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D.S. NeSmith, G. Hoogenboom, and D.V. McCracken

Three summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivars were grown using conventional tillage and no-till soil management practices during 1991 and 1992 in the mountain regions of Georgia. Soil bulk density and N content as well as crop dry weight, leaf area, and yield were monitored to assess the potential for using conservation tillage in squash production. Soil bulk density of the surface (0 to 10 cm) layer under no-till exceeded. that under conventional tillage at planting by 0.25 Mg·m-3, and 1 month after planting by as much as 0.16 Mg·m-3. However, growth-limiting bulk densities (>1.45 Mg·m-3) did not occur. Total soil N to a 30-cm depth was similar for the two tillage regimes. There were no significant cultivar × tillage interaction effects on plant dry weight, leaf area, or crop yield. Total yields were similar for the two tillage regimes; however, early yield during 1991 was 27% less using no-till. There is potential for the use of conservation tillage in summer squash production in the southeastern United States. However, the current lack of registered herbicides for weed control and possible early market price incentives are likely disadvantages to widespread acceptance of such cultural practices.

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Darrin Parmenter, Russell Nagata, Kent Cushman, and Nancy Roe

Recently, an increasing number of restaurants in Palm Beach County, Florida, have been requesting squash (Cucurbita pepo) flowers from local vegetable growers. Typically, current field-grown squash cultivars produce a higher ratio of female to male flowers, with the emphasis on fruit production. However, a market for squash blossoms indicates a need for cultivars that produce higher numbers of consistently developing male flowers throughout the growing season. In order to evaluate male squash blossom production, 10 squash cultivars, including yellow-summer, zucchini, round, and scallop-types, and one compact-type pumpkin, were field-grown during the 2005–06 growing season. The average number of male flowers per plant by week was recorded for 7 weeks, starting when the first male flowers were identified within the entire trial. In addition to blossom counts, flower traits, such as bell height, depth, volume, and weight were also recorded. Preliminary results from the 2005 season indicate that the commercial yellow-summer squash cultivars, Mulitpik and Early Prolific Straightneck, and the zucchini cultivars, Jaguar and Raven, produced fewer male flowers on a week-by-week and total basis. The cultivar, White Bush Scallop, produced significantly more male flowers then any other entry, with an average of 9.8 male flowers per plant per week. Little or no difference was seen in bell height and depth among the 11 cultivars; however, two cultivars, Costa Romanesque and Hybrid Pam (compact pumpkin type) had significantly greater bell volumes and weights, indicating a much larger blossom size.

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Charles A. Powell, Peter J. Stoffella, and Harry S. Paris

Zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) fruit yield and the incidence of sweetpotato whitefly (SPWF) [Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius)], squash silver leaf (SSL) disorder, and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) were measured during Spring and Fall 1991 in experiments containing various plant populations. In both experiments, as the within-row spacing increased from 30.5 to 76.2 cm or the number of plants per hill decreased from three to one, the number of marketable fruit per hectare decreased, and the marketable fruit per plant increased. Adult SPWF populations increased with decreased within-row spacing in the spring but not the fall experiment. The incidence of SSL or ZYMV infection was not affected by plant population in either experiment. The results indicate that increasing zucchini squash plant population can increase yield without affecting the incidence of SSL or ZYMV.

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Nicole L. Shaw and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Mini or “baby” vegetables have become increasingly popular items for restaurant chefs and retail sales. Squash (Cucurbita pepo) are generally open-field cultivated where climate, insect, and disease pressures create challenging conditions for growers and shippers who produce and market this delicate, immature fruit. In order to overcome these challenges, in Spring 2003 and 2004, 18 squash cultivars, including zucchini, yellow-summer, patty pan/scallop, and cousa types, were grown hydroponically in a passively ventilated greenhouse and compared for yield of “baby”-size fruit. Squash were graded as “baby” when they were less than 4 inches in length for zucchini, yellow-summer, and cousa types and less than 1.5 inches diameter for round and patty pan/scallop types. In both seasons, `Sunburst' (patty pan) produced the greatest number of baby-size fruit per plant, while `Bareket' (green zucchini) produced the least. The zucchini-types produced between 16 and 25 baby-size fruit per plant in 2003. The yellow summer squash-types produced on average 45 baby fruit per plant. The production of the patty pan/scallop types ranged from 50 to 67 baby-size fruit per plant depending on cultivar. The cousa types produced approximately 30 baby-size fruit. Total yields were lower in 2004 due to a shortened season. Squash plants will produce numerous high quality baby-sized fruit when grown hydroponically in a reduced pesticide environment of a greenhouse where they can be harvested, packaged, and distributed to buyers daily. The cultivars Hurricane, Raven, Gold Rush, Goldy, Sunray, Seneca Supreme, Supersett, Butter Scallop, Sunburst, Patty Green Tint, Starship, Magda, and HA-187 could be used for hydroponic baby squash production.

Open access

James E. Brown, Walter E. Splittstoesser, and John M. Gerber


Double-cropping systems were compared to the same vegetable monocropped. Snap beans [Phaseolus vulgaris (L.) ‘Bush Blue Lake’], sweet corn [Zea mays (L.) ‘Sundance’], cauliflower [Brassica oleracea (L.), Botrytis group, ‘Snow Crown’], summer squash [Cucurbita pepo (L.) ‘Zucchini Elite’], and broccoli [Brassica oleracea (L.), Italica group, ‘Green Comet’] were used. The double-crop systems used were spring snap bean and fall cauliflower, summer squash and fall broccoli, and spring sweet corn and fall snap beans. The monocrop system was used as a control for the double-crop systems. The greatest net returns were: 1) squash monocropped or squash/broccoli double-cropped, 2) squash double-cropped, 3) cauliflower or cauliflower/snap bean double-cropped, and 4) broccoli or cauliflower or snap beans monocropped. Fall snap beans provided the least economic return. The double-cropping system allows an option of crop production with a potential increase in yield and economic returns using half the amount of land per year required for either crop grown in monoculture. In addition, these systems reduce the risk of economic failure during a year of low-market demand for either crop grown alone.

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Rachel L. Hultengren, Lindsay Wyatt, and Michael Mazourek

Squash is a major crop for vegetable growers in the northeastern United States, with New York and New Jersey accounting for roughly 14% of the U.S. production in 2015 ( USDA, 2016 ). Growers have identified the breeding of high-quality winter squash

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J.E. Brown, R.P Yates, C. Stevens, and V.A. Khan

Effects of planting methods and rowcover on the production of yellow crookneck squash, Cucurbita pepo L. var. melopepo Alef., were evaluated over 2 years at the E.V. Smith Research Center, Shorter, Ala. Summer squash was direct-seeded or transplanted in the field with or without black plastic mulch and grown with or without rowcover. Yield of transplanted squash was significantly increased over the same squash direct-seeded. Neither plastic mulch nor rowcover had an effect on summer squash production. Transplants matured 8 to 10 days earlier than the direct-seeded plants.

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Doyle A. Smittle, W. Lamar Dickens, and M. Jane Hayes

An irrigation scheduling model for summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was developed and validated during 1986, 1987, and 1989. The model is represented by the equation: 12.7(i - 4) × 0.5ASW = Di-1 + [E(0.14 + 0.015) - P - I]i, where crop age in days is i; effective root depth is 12.7(i - 4) with a maximum of 381 mm; usable water (cubic millimeter per cubic millimeter of soil) is 0.5ASW, deficit on the previous day is Di-1; evapotranspiration is pan evaporation (E) times 0.14 + 0.015i; rainfall (in millimeters) is P; and irrigation (in millimeters) is I. The model was validated during the three years using a line-source irrigation system with irrigation depths ranging from 5% to 160% of the model rates. Nitrogen rates were 50%, 100%, and 150% of the recommended rate. Marketable fruit yields increased as the irrigation depths increased up to the model rate then decreased with greater water application depths. Marketable fruit yields increased as the N rate increased in 1987 and 1989, but yields were similar at all N rates in 1986. The shelf life of marketable fruits was not influenced by irrigation or N rates.