My Battle Against Squash Vine Borers Gets Ugly


| 7/30/2011 4:34:22 AM


If you've had problems with squash vine borers, you'll probably relate to the story I'm about to tell. If you haven't had problems with them yet, (lucky you) here is a glimpse of what's in your future!

We planted what we're calling "the pumpkin patch" in our side yard. Last year, the side yard was planted up with tomatoes and cucumbers. This year, it's pumpkins, melons, and summer squash. We're growing three varieties of pumpkins: 'Howden,' which is a traditional, jack o'lantern-type pumpkin; 'Long Island Cheese,' which is beautiful tan pumpkin that is absolutely delicious for making pumpkin pies; and 'Galeaux d'Eysines,' a French heirloom whose pinkish rind and bumpy texture just seem perfect for Halloween.

We started the seeds indoors, and transplanted them into the side yard in late May. Here's a progression of how the pumpkin patch has shaped up over the last few months:

June 22nd:
 

Pumpkin Patch June 22 



July 13th: 

MARINA PUSHKAREVA
2/14/2012 12:16:03 AM

It is not funny, if you actually lost your battle...Tamara Hanson wrote: "Grow only cucumis moschata species of squashes: butternut, tromboncino (a summer style one), Long Island Cheese, Musque de Provence, Seminole, Black Futsu etc. Their stems are resistant to squash vine borer." I tried to grow butternut, it was destroyed also, as well as zucchinis (3 different varieties, early and late summer planting), planted and volunteered winter squash..... Next year I am planning to grow them vertically. Someone said it is easier to "collect" bugs that way. :(


Cindy Morrissey
2/13/2012 8:36:14 PM

LOL! Too funny! Thanks for a great laugh!


Tamara Hanson
12/5/2011 4:14:50 AM

Squash Vine Borer are one of the most common problems but not hard to cure. Try one of these suggestions.1. try planting later to screw up their cycle. 2. Use floating row cover until about a week after the first flowers appear. 3. Use nylons, cut at both ends to cover the stem area and pull up as they grow. Some people use aluminum foil instead. 4. Grow only cucumis moschata species of squashes: butternut, tromboncino (a summer style one), Long Island Cheese, Musque de Provence, Seminole, Black Futsu etc. Their stems are resistant to squash vine borer. 5. For summer squash, not long maturing pumpkins, have seedlings to replace the dying earlier plants if they succumb to SVB. 6. Use a syringe to inject bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) into the stem. It kills the larva but if the vine has holes the Bt drains out those and doesn't hit the larva. Good luck!






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