Nasturtiums and squash?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I read an article that mentioned Nasturtiums make a great companion planting for squash plants and help keep the vine borers away.

I've had problems almost every year with vine borers, so I'm going to try it. I just wondered if anyone else had ever planted them together for this purpose, and did it seem to work?

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

Never did that one. I have taken to succession planting my squash and trying to keep them away from the main veggie bed and rotating their plot. Couldn't hurt to try the nasturtiums they will look good and are tasty too!

-Kim

Perth,, ON(Zone 5a)

I planted nasturtium along the trellis with the cucumbers. Didn't have any pests, but that may have been more a result of the three snakes that took up residence in the cucumber patch. lol.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Terry, it sure couldn't hurt, and it would really spruce up the squash patch! Also, nasturtium blooms and leaves are a tasty addition to salads.

Thumbnail by Weezingreens
Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I've tried it a few times and all I got was pretty flowers. I still had squash bettles & vine borers. I have a nasty recipe that seems to be good at killing the bettles anyway. It involves naturally produced ammonia tho I do suppose the bottled kind would do just as well.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Hmmmm.

Last year I had much better luck by delaying my squash plantings until later in the season. (I waited a little too late and some of the slower-maturing fruit didn't ripen before frost, but what did produce did well enough I think I'll probably try a little of everything - nasturtiums, delayed planting, row covers and whatever else I can think of, lol.)

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

I've heard that squash blooms battered and deep fried are quite good.

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

Yes, stuffed with ricotta and herbs w/tomato sauce YUM! You can buy them or figure out which ones are male and pick and stuff! You are bad to bring this up in Feb.!! Weez or Tom Cat....? No matter :-)) friends from DG whether you guys know it or not!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Thanks, Bluecat! As I recall, it's pretty easy to tell the male blooms because the stem is thinner.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

WZ, you are bad....here it is, chilly and dreary (as are most February days in the midsouth) and you're talking about spring and summer delicacies. Sigh.....

Well, you've left me with no choice: I'll just have to make a batch of runzas to assuage my grief ;o)

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

Thanks a lot Terry:) I went and looked up runza's and went right to the store for cabbage and frozen bread dough. I had heard of them but I don't think I have had one. They sound tasty. What recipe do you use?

-Kim

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Recipe? I never saw a recipe, I just watched my mom and grandma make them. Here's roughly the proportions

1 pound lean hamburger
1/2 head cabbage, sliced as for slaw (more or less, depending on the size of the head)
1-2 onions, diced fine (if it's a big onion, just one, if they're small, I'll use two or even three)
1 cup (give or take) of grated carrots
Salt and pepper to taste, maybe a little celery seed if I'm in the mood ;o)

Brown everything until the pink is gone from the meat; drain all fat.

I use a homemade white bread dough recipe, but any will do, including frozen. I roll it out pretty thin, cut into squares, add about a quarter- to third-cup of meat mixture, and bring all four corners up and seal the edges good, turn it over and place on a baking sheet. Bake until done - usually 15 minutes or so.

You can also add a slice of American cheese before the meat mixture for a cheesy runza. Not authentic, but pretty tasty! These also freeze pretty well, just let them thaw then gently heat back up in the oven or microwave for a quick meal or snack.

Okay, back to nasturtiums and squash.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I've never heard of them either, so I looked them up. I have everything on hand to make these if 1/2 head of cabbage will be enough.

I found this recipe that looks easy enough. http://kitchengifts.com/runza.html

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

Urp! They are good! Didn't use all my filling before I ran out of dough so maybe I will add cheese to the next batch! YUM! I saw that one Joan - don't they look tasty?!?

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

Yep, I'm home today because the satellite internet people were supposed to come, but they cancelled....again. But that's another story.

I have a batch of dough raising now for the recipe I linked to. I'll let you know how they turn out, and if they are presentable at all, I'll post a picture. :)

Oh, and I'm using sausage and cabbage, instead of hamburger and cabbage. I thought the sausage would give it a little more flavor and DH agreed.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm always up for a new recipe! But as for companion planting- I don't have much faith in them being cures for bug problems. May help. I do have some plants for beneficials, in the veg garden (dill, anise hyssop, garlic chives )

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I found this article on companion planting interesting. Nothing in there about squash though. http://www.vivagarden.com/veggies/fgp.html

Here's another interesting one, and it's a little more indepth http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html

And here's a good old North Dakota Extension service website that says nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. :) http://www.ext.nodak.edu/county/cass/horticulture/vegetables/companion.htm

The runzas are coming along well too.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I made them, and posted the info and photos in the recipe forum here http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/692727/

I didn't want to hijack this thread any further. Sorry Terry! :(

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I've made these a few times and we always liked them. Haven't made any in a long time tho. I just need to make the dough. I'm kind of on a low/slow carb diet so I may have to wait a few days because I made ww biscuits this morning. Sausage is good in them.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Boy, it must be the cold weather here, but anything with carbs looks good to me! I've got you give that recipe a try, Terry. It sounds like something the Ol' Tomcat would love, as well.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

'Tis the season for carbs! I made a nice big batch of runzas on Wednesday, and used the second half of the bread dough to make a pan of sticky rolls, stuck 'em unbaked in the fridge overnight and baked yesterday morning - the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls can get your hardest sleepers to wake up in a hurry ;o)

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

It would get me out of bed, for sure, Terry! It's the kinder, gentler alarm clock! Do the nasturtiums hold up in the heat of summer in TN? What kind of squash are you growing... summer or winter?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I grew delicatas and several pumpkins including Jarrahdale last year. I knew I was pushing my luck on planting in late June, but I didn't have squash bug problems that have plagued me in the past. I think this year I'll aim for about 3 weeks earlier and hope I can foil the critters a second time. Nasturtiums will hold up in a "normal" summer, but if we get triple-digit temps, they can melt no matter how much water you put on them.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Nasturtium don't mind our hot days, but they aren't really very hot. If it hits 80 degrees here, we begin to wilt ourselves. We can grow summer squash in protected areas, but gourds, pumpkins, melons and winter squash are just not going to do well here. It's too chilly, too wet, and the season is too short. Though we can grow zukes outside, cukes have to go in the greenhouse. What are delicatas?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Delicatas area winter squash with - you guessed it - very delicate, mild flesh. They make yummy squash soup ;o)

http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/57093/index.html

There's also a bush variety from Cornell University - that's what I've grown since my two squash beds are only 4 x 10 feet each.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Your soup sounds wonderful on a cold Alaskan afternoon. I'm afraid, however, I'll have to buy squash soup at the deli, or buy winter squash at the produce section. All that wonderful produce from other spots in the US is one of the few things I miss.

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Weezingreens, Is it less expensive to ship within Alaska? If so I may be able to send some stuff back w/my sister and she can mail it from Anchorage when she goes through the on her way to Cordiva.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Don't worry abut it Dyson. I think it's more expensive to ship within Alaskan that outside it. I have no idea why! A couple years ago, an old friend from Indiana brought up a suitcase full of sweet corn. They came over for dinner, so we had fresh sweet corn and deep fried halibut. I think we could have just put all the halibut on their plates and all the corn on ours, and no one would have complained!

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Last time sis was down (with her son & daughter) I fed them sweet corn, Debbie said the kids had never had "corn on the cob" before, That part of the meal was devoured.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Even summer squash is special up here... not the bushels full that our southern neighbors enjoy.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Chuckle. If only we could economically ship all that extra summer squash (and cucumbers) - there's no telling how much is thrown away or allowed to rot on the vine because there's just too much for the average gardener to use. (And all his neighbors run and hide when they see him coming with a big grocery sack!)

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Garrison Keiller once spoke of that in a monologue on Prairie Home Companion. As I recall, he said that the only reason to lock one's car in Minnesota was to prevent someone from leaving you a bushel of squash. Yes, we'd gladly take all of your extras! If I get 4 zukes per plant, I'm ashamedly emotional. If you give someone fresh garden produce here, they know it is a sacrifice, not an attempt to unload excess!

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I've tried these companion plants with my squash & cukes to deter squash bugs, cuke beetles, &/or squash vine borers (svbs) & other pests: TANSY (Almost took over my garden, so I don't let it go to seed.), RADISHES, MARIGOLDS, CATNIP (attracts stray cats), & NASTURTIUMS. My companion planting guide lists nasturtiums to repel Colorado potato beetles, but list marigolds to deter "svbs". I can't say that it makes a difference, but I continue interplanting just in case. Maybe I'm attracting beneficials. I also disturb the soil around the plants & rub my fingers over the stems -- something that I read to keep the eggs from hatching. I caught an "svb" busy laying eggs in my garden one day & chased it down until I finally got a chance to squish it. Afterwards, I realized that I had been yelling stuff like "You're NOT getting my squash this year!" I just hope that the neighbors weren't paying attention. Are you having trouble with winter or summer squash. My butternuts aren't bothered by "svbs", but often succumb to squash bug infestation. The "svbs" really go for my summer squash, so this year I'm growing Zucchetta Rampicante. Has anyone tried injecting BTK into the stems or parastic nematodes?

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

One advantage to living in a moderate summer climate is that we don't seem to have many problems with insects on our veggies. Some cutworms, some root maggots, some thrips, some leaf miners... that's about it. However, for those problems, we have been known to use row cover when the insects are laying eggs or feeding, etc. The row cover allows light and moisture, but keeps the insects away.

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I tried floating row covers, but as soon as I removed them the pests moved in. I don't have a problem early on. The pests attack my plants while the fruit are developing. A nearby pumpkin farm could be attracting some of these pests to the area. They probably use pesticides which is something I try to avoid. I do use rotenone when the cuke beetles get really bad. For the squash bugs, I squash them and destroy their eggs. It takes diligence to keep these pests from overtaking my small vegie garden. I tried Surround @ Home crop protectant & it worked, but kept clogging my sprayer. I think that I'll give it another try this summer by mixing it up in a smaller sprayer. All my other crops are pretty much pest free. Do you plant in rows? I plant in 5' x 5' & 4' x 4' beds. I also grow cukes, pole beans, tomatoes, peas, & winter squash vertically on welded wire trellises. The pests have a more difficult time hiding. I've read some amazing success stories written by Alaska gardeners. You already have my respect.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Well, it appears we have the advantage when it comes to garden pests. Slugs are my worst nemesis, but those are easier to see!

Foristell, MO(Zone 5b)


I don't know if you are still checking this thread, but I put nasturtiums in my squash hills last year, and radishes in my cucumber hills. Not all the nasturtiums came up, but the hills did grow in were the last to be attacked by the bugs. the cucs did a little better too. Silly, but true, My husband and I took a shop vac out to the garden and vaccumed up the squash bugs. It went more quickly than hand pulling so we got more bugs-you know how they all start to run away when you start rifling through the leaves to get 'em, well we just sucked 'em up.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Good idea, Lisa!

Ijamsville, MD(Zone 6b)

I was thinking about the vacuum thing too. Maybe the hand held one they advertise to suck up bugs in your house. My garden is too far away to run extension cords for the shop vac. Although if things get out of hand....

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Just be sure the inverter you use will handle the current of the VAC.

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