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My watermelon and squash are flowering and I see tons of lovely bees rolling around in them but so far, no fruit. The vines look great, nice and green. We have started to see a lot of stink bugs and we are going to spray them tonight with some castille soap solution. Do you think the stinkbugs are causing the plant not to set fruit or could it be something else?
I agree with Nicole. If you have bees, your plants may just be getting enough female to male flower ratio to begin setting fruit, as long as the plants look healthy. Watch for the gray (live bearing) aphids right now too - those really will desimate your plants quickly if you let them get out of hand.
I agree wth Niclole, a little more time and they should set fruit. As for the insects this might help.
we have such a 'wise + experienced' community out there, it is exciting for me to see the 'body of knowledge' that is out there ... keep up the good work!
If your melons are set and the vines are producing but the bugs are eating at the bottom or sides, try one more thing - put a plain white (uncoated) paper plate under each melon after dusting off the dirt. It is an old trick I read years ago and works for any fruit which sits on the ground while ripening. At the end of the season you can toss the paper plate into the compost heap.
I bought insecticidal soap spray yesterday. The whiteflies have arrived.
My guess is the plant is done for the year.
Many winter squash need to "cure" for a few weeks indoors once picked in a cool dark place. Larger squash like pumpkins will take a bit longer to cure. This only matters if you want to eat them of course.
The book "Resilient Gardener" has some great info on squash growing, curing, and seed saving.
The plants will not produce viable fruit if the bugs are at infestation stage. But, if you do have fruit on the vine, are they ripe and ready to eat? Many times bugs move in when a plant's life is almost done, to clean up so to say. Sometimes I find that if you wait too long to harvest, mother nature will do it for you in many ways...bugs and birds mainly!
We have had some of our winter squash over the years get attacked by the squash bug early on in May/June, hang on, and around monsoon time (August/Sept.) produce squash. This has only been the case with winter squash though. Summer squash gets easily wiped out by the squash bug.
This heat wave is no help right now either!
Catherine's idea for paper plates works very well for the underground bugs that eat the undersides. We also use cereal boxes in place of paper plates. Same idea, only reusing what you have before it hits the landfill or recycle bin...or compost heap in our case :)