September to-do list
Here are some monthly reminders for gardeners:
Mosaic virus on squash and cucumber plants is spread by aphids and cucumber beetles. The disease causes leaves to become rough and mottled. Plants can be stunted and fruit can turn whitish. It's best to remove and discard diseased plants; do not add them to your compost pile.
Winter squash is ready to harvest when the stem begins to shrivel. Pick before the first frost; cure by letting it sit in the sun for at least three days; turn daily. Squash will keep for up to five months if stored in a cool dry place.
Leave grass clippings on the lawn when you mow. They provide nitrogen and help retain moisture. Mow lawn frequently. Cutting more than one-third of the height off at any one time stresses the lawn, leaving it more vulnerable to pests and disease.
Have a question for the Master Gardeners? Call the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener hot line, 408-282-3105, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays. Or go to www.mastergardeners.org.