I grow kabochas yearly. I've had two nemeses:
1. powdery mildew that sets in in July and pretty much kills the plants,
2. squirrel(s) that attack the fruit. It/they can decimate the crop,
destroying a squash-a-day when they get into it, unless the squash are
hung high and inaccessible (I try to do this by trellising).
I have had some success controlling the mildew by spraying with a
solution of baking soda but eventually the mildew wins out and the
leaves become hard and brittle and I assume close to useless in
photosynthesis. I've continued to water the plants daily, in any case,
in the theory that the squashes will ripen better. I have many squash
lieing on the ground, and a squirrel has attacked two of them in the
last week or so. I've set out a trap (no success yet this year), plan to
take the trapped critter ~6 miles into the hills (a park) and release
it. Not sure it won't make its way back, I've heard stories that this is
possible. For all I know, the squirrel that's eating my squash this year
is the one I released in the park last year...
Well, one question I have is this: Since the plants, for the most part,
seem unable or unwilling to produce new growth, at what point can I
remove the kabochas from the vines? I understand that they will ripen
more (I harvested the bulk of my crop on August 15 last year because a
squirrel was attaching them, and although they looked great, a great
many of them were not nearly mature and were a disappointment... not
deep orange inside and not very sweet).
Is it being on the vine (even a seemingly almost dead vine) that matures
them or is it just sitting around, perhaps being in the warm sun? When
can I pick them, and if I do pick them before I'd like to (i.e. mid to
late October, it does not freeze here), should I leave them outside in
the sun (I have a patio table I could leave them on that a squirrel
Thanks for any help here!
Email: dmusicant at sonic dot net