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Ask the Expert Archive

How do I keep bumble bees away from my crock neck squash? Also I do I know when my carrots are ready to pick?

Know that bees can be a gardeners/farmer’s friend because they help with pollination. But if those bumble bees become a problem, there are a few things you can do.  These include
  1. The more flowers you have, the more bees will be attracted to your yard. This includes flowering trees and bushes. By having only non-flowering plants in your yard you can greatly reduce the interest of bees to it. To keep the bees far away from your squash, plant flowers far away from the squash.
  2. Use a safe insecticide designed to stop the insects or kill them. Be sure to follow the insecticide guidelines, and use one recommended for fruit or vegetables and human consumption.
When harvesting carrots: Carrots can be "pulled" when the roots are at least 1/2 inch in diameter. Under usual conditions, carrot tops may not be strong enough to withstand actually being pulled from the ground and digging helps to remove the roots without damage. Finger carrots are usually ready to harvest within 50 to 60 days. Other varieties should be allowed to grow until they have reached a diameter of at least 3/4 inch (about 60 to 70 days after planting). For more information about growing carrots visit the University of Illinois Extension and try our Roasted Carrots recipe!
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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