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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Squash vine Borers!!

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AtlantaMarie
GardenRadical
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Razed Bed
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Post  sceleste54 7/17/2015, 12:06 am

I planted Patty Pan in one big pot and yellow crookneck in another and put them on opposite ends of my house, away from my beds, in hopes of getting some squash. The plants look beautiful in their pots but tonight I found frass and holes in the main stem.  I had gotten some Captain Jack Dead Bug formula of spinosad to try against stink bugs. I loaded a hypodermic and went out and shot up the plants... I figure they will die anyway I might as well try.  We will see if it works.... Twisted Evil
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Post  CapeCoddess 7/18/2015, 9:49 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:I just found frass on some Delicata squash stems of plants that I seeded at the beginning of the season. I was hoping the SVB wouldn't like Delicata because my friend the next town over is able to grow it successfully... so far.

Anyway, using Feed Me's idea, I took out my sewing kit but instead of the largest needle I grabbed the finest. Then I pierced holes all up and down the stem near the entrance hole. Hope I got the little buggers! They hit three out of four plants.
Sad

CC
Two days have gone by since piercing the Delicata squash stems and still no frass. The pierced part of the stem looks a bit lighter green but I think it'll heal. I'll let you know if that changes. So far I'm delighted!
What a Face
CC
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Post  walshevak 7/19/2015, 6:24 pm

Very Happy


Last edited by walshevak on 7/19/2015, 6:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  walshevak 7/19/2015, 6:24 pm

I have a failure to thrive situation with my squash this year. I've done multiple plantings over 3 months.  I got small plants, borers, and nothing but male blossoms.  Beds were topped off with a goodly portion of 5 blend, but it was left over from last year and I don't think it had retained it's goodness,    I even broke down and  used extra fertilizer and Sevin.  Plants got a little bigger but still no squash.  The best plants are in the center of the bean bed.  Beans replaced peas and are growing good.  
The only cuke plant that has produced is one that I dropped a seed into a flower pot of used mix.  When I realized it was a cuke I gave it plenty of fish emulsion and it is doing well.  All the others are blooming like crazy but not producing cukes.


Kay

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Post  CapeCoddess 8/8/2015, 2:01 pm

All three Delicatas, that I thought I had pierced &killed the vine borer in, are going down. Apparently I missed.
Sad
From now on I plant seeds after mid July. In my area SVB finishes laying eggs the end of July so any sprouts will be too small to attract her attention. The Dunja zukes planted mid July seem to be fine...so far. If that changes I'll let you know.

If I ever see frass again I think I will put needles crisscrossed right above it so the borer can't pass. I wonder what it will do then?

CC
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Post  yolos 8/8/2015, 3:31 pm

@yolos wrote:I planted some Zucchini (Partenon) this spring.  Last weekend I had to pull it.  There were at least 3 SVB in each stem.  It is supposed to be pathenocarpic.  I had planned to cover it with tulle but I never got around to covering it. 

Last weekend I planted 4 more plants.  The variety again was Partenon.  Because we have at least two growing seasons of SVB down here, I will still have to cover it if I don't want them eaten by SVB.  I guess this time I will cover.

Well, I never got around to covering the second planting I planted on about 7/4.  And yep, at least one has frass coming out so there are SVB's on the new Zucchini plants now.  Dodo Bird me.  Maybe next year.
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Post  sanderson 8/9/2015, 3:27 am

And, next year you will have more time to watch out for them!

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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/9/2015, 10:28 am

@sceleste54 wrote:I planted Patty Pan in one big pot and yellow crookneck in another and put them on opposite ends of my house, away from my beds, in hopes of getting some squash. The plants look beautiful in their pots but tonight I found frass and holes in the main stem.  I had gotten some Captain Jack Dead Bug formula of spinosad to try against stink bugs. I loaded a hypodermic and went out and shot up the plants... I figure they will die anyway I might as well try.  We will see if it works.... Twisted Evil

What happened Celeste?
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Post  GardenRadical 10/17/2015, 8:18 am

I replanted with c. Moschata Tromboncini squash in mid summer to replace the yellow and green zucs that were all killed by SVB in early July.  Moschata species is said to be much more resistant to borers.  The tromboncini have taken over my fall garden.  I have allowed them to grow up and over the adjacent tomato cages.  Vines can easily grow 10 to 15 feet.  I think these should be trained up a trellis or fence.  I am still getting lots of fruit in mid October.  The long skinny squash fruit are delicious, but you have to really watch the things.  With proper water the fruit will easily grow a foot a week.  These easily turn into 3 foot monster squash.   One of the nice things is that all the seeds are in the bulby base of the fruit.  Most of the length is seed free so this would be a great choice to make zucchini bread (tromboncini bread?).  I will start out with the tromboncini next summer and plan on some sort of scaffolding to support them.  Seeds are available from several heirloom catalogs. 

Note that commercial growers of effected zucchini, yellow squash, etc. are now turning to genetically modified varieties.  I believe these GMO varieties have been modified with Bacillus thuringiensis genes spliced into the squash's DNA.  That way the squash plant produces its own internal insecticide.   Anything that eats it will be effected by that insecticide loading.  This resistance allows commercial growers to deliver lots of fruit with perfect appearance to grocery stores.  I personally question whether built in pesticides are a particularly good trait in food products.  The commercial seed companies and their lawyers and lobbyists seem to believe it is a wonderful thing. 
Regardless of what you personally believe about GMO plants, the pollen from these genetically altered plants will eventually becoming genetically mixed with all heirloom squash varieties.  I don't see any way to keep bees from flying anywhere they want and spreading the pollen around.  Honey bees will fly up to a mile from their hives, so it requires vastly separated fields to prevent crossing.   Of course pests like SVB will eventually develop tolerance to the built in insecticide so then it will be necessary to design in something more toxic.  Yeah.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 10/17/2015, 9:38 am

And don't forget that law of unintended consequences.....  sigh....
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Post  sanderson 10/17/2015, 2:15 pm

GR, Welcome to the Forum. Do you have sources to support that BT genes are being introduced into squashes?

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Post  sanderson 10/23/2015, 4:12 pm

Gee, I've never strayed off topic. Embarassed Embarassed Just a reminder to stay on topic. If someone opens this topic, it should be about SVB.

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Post  CapeCoddess 7/17/2017, 11:51 am

Grrrr.... Mad
The borer is out in force in my neck of the woods right now.  I'm trying a new netting over the zukes and Delicatas this year to see if I can save them, but I didn't know when it would be safe to take the netting down.  So I emailed my County Extension office and received this reply:
************
Hello

I am sending a fact sheet from U. of Minn. on these pests. From reading the article I
would guess that by the end of July most of these bugs have laid eggs and are done with their cycle. On my own, I plant 2 crops and when the first one flowers, I plant a second.  I also use row covers.

Thanks,
Rich
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capecodextension.org
Horticulture Clinic
************
The link to the arictle he sent is:  
https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/

Unfortunately the article says the borers are 1/2 inch long.  In MY mind they were ginormous when I last saw them. Rolling Eyes  Problem is, my netting has 1/4 inch weave so she may fit through.  

Fortunately I planted Tromboncino and Butternut to take the places of the zukes and Delicatas, respectively, just in case they get hit.

Also, please note that this timing is for my area and won't pertain to much of the rest of the world.  But it might be informative for others to see when the borer comes to your neighborhood.  Any one?
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Post  Robbomb116 7/17/2017, 12:36 pm

Honestly, this is one of the few reasons I'm thankful to be in ND. We don't have SVB here (yet).
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Post  trolleydriver 7/17/2017, 12:55 pm

I read that here in Ontario SVBs occur mainly in Southwestern Ontario. Since I live in Eastern Ontario and further north than SW Ontario, I am hoping they are not a problem here. As well, there are fields full of pumpkin plants not far from my house so I hope, if there are any SVBs, they will feast over there rather than on my small crop.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/18/2017, 9:56 pm

They are very stealth .  All of the sudden your plant wilts, and it is all over....sucks.
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Post  has55 5/18/2021, 3:59 pm

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Post  sanderson 5/19/2021, 2:39 pm

Bump

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Post  SharonBreay 5/25/2021, 5:54 pm

Have not tried this yet, but I just read to keep SVB from your squash vines, cover the vines with soil--or in our case, ?Mels Mix.
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