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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - February 03, 2008

From: Taylor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Disease-resistant squash varieties for Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you give me names of some disease-resistant summer squash varieties available in Central Texas?

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we don't ordinarily deal with vegetables, as most of them are non-native. However, archeological evidence suggests that squash may have been first cultivated in Mesoamerica some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. Therefore, it would appear that summer squash, Cucurbita pepo, is VERY native, having been raised by early Native Americans. However, like most of the vegetables being grown today, squash is so extensively hybridized that it does fall out of the Wildflowers Center's usual expertise, and we have no information on vegetables on our Native Plant Database. We went a little further afield to see if we could help you. This Cornell University website, "Yellow Summer Squash: Disease Resistance Table" on the various problems with squash and varieties that are resistant to those problems should at least give you a start. This table also has codes for various seed companies that supply the strains of squash, and you can probably go online, find what you want and order seeds. More general information on raising summer squash, with additional information on diseases and pests that attack squash, is on this UC Davis Vegetable Research and Information Center website.

 

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