weather icon Clear

Summon bees to assist with summer squash

Question: I have had great success growing yellow and green squash for the past five or six years. Last month, but in the past couple of weeks, they have been turning hard, and the yellow pieces have turned dark and almost orange.

You will get more blemish-free fruits with sprays of insecticidal soaps twice to three times a week, including spraying the undersides of the leaves. The lack of squash development is due to poor pollination, which is most likely because of cool weather and poor bee activity.

You can attract more bees with plants that bees love and ones that flower at the times your vegetable garden needs pollination. Bee-loving plants include many of the herbs, which are allowed to flower. These might include rosemary, basil, lavender, oregano and thyme.

Woody ornamental plants typically flower for short periods, but there are some such as Texas ranger and brooms such as Scotch, lantana and verbena. Go to your nursery and see what is in bloom — particularly reds, purples and pinks.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Late afternoon direct sun can be damaging to roses

Somewhat tender plants like roses and crape myrtle can handle the intense desert heat and sunlight if they are growing in soil amended with organics and the soil is covered with mulch that rots or decomposes. Roses and crape myrtle will struggle after a few years when planted in soils covered by rock

Wet, humid spring weather caused influx of aphids

The high population of aphids this year was caused by our wet and humid spring weather. The fastest way to get rid of them is to drench the soil beneath the tree with a systemic insecticide diluted in a bucket of water.

Grasshoppers can be destructive to yards

Grasshoppers start cute and small with small appetites and jump from plant to plant. But as they grow bigger, their increased appetites cause more and more damage to landscapes.

Good tomato crop probably a result of cool spring weather

Tomatoes stop setting fruit when air temperatures stay consistently above 95 degrees. The tomatoes that set earlier continue to grow and mature when it stays hot. If the air temperature drops below 95 for a couple of days, new flowers will again set fruit.

Slime mold fungus in lawn causes no harm

Slime mold fungi are particularly disgusting because they are gelatinous and, over time, change color if they’re left undisturbed. Slime molds can lay atop the grass and smother it.

Rabbits can kill tree by eating trunk

If rabbits ate the trunk of a tree in a complete circle around the trunk, it’s a goner. Let it sucker from the bottom and start a new tree from the suckers.