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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.

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