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Hello Guest!
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Post  Soose 5/6/2022, 11:02 am

I just found a YouTube channel while I was trying to read about Squash Vine Borers.  (Confirmed what Markcq said, here in the South, we will have several outbreaks of the pest so holding off until the wave has passed to plant squash will not help here.)

It's called Old Alabama Gardener. 

His videos are very helpful to me. I am needing more info on the plants and how to grow them in the South.  For instance, he starts all his squash seeds inside, 35 days before last frost,  and pots them up on the porch until they're pretty large actually.  Protects the stalks with alum foil before putting them into the garden -- easier to watch for the bugs. 

Super helpful videos.   The type of info - the voice of experience of gardening in this area --  is a lot of what I've felt I was missing, questions I didn't even know yet to ask.  How a plant grows, what to watch for, timing...  I think I can adapt what I am learning now to my SFG's. 

( I don't know if he did any Square Foot Gardening, but he does have a video showing training potted squash up on a trellis.  )
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Post  sanderson 5/6/2022, 2:31 pm

I can't find the photo right now, but Yolos potted a summer squash and used a tomato cage to cover everything tightly with bridal tulle.

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Post  Soose 5/6/2022, 3:27 pm

sanderson wrote:I can't find the photo right now, but Yolos potted a summer squash and used a tomato cage to cover everything tightly with bridal tulle.

Ok, so we would need to hand pollinate the squash flowers if the whole plant is covered with tulle.

--As prolific as squashes are supposed to be, how big a job would hand pollinating be?
-- How big a job would wrapping be?

I guess I am going to find out. Because I assume it's all ties of squashes and melons, too, we're talking about?

-- The OAG covers only the stem at the bottom with foil, adding more strips of foil as the main stem/stalk grows. I don't know how much the stem grows, having not grown squashes yet, bush or vine may be different?

Can you put tulle selectively around the main stem only?


There's no reason to wrap the leaf stems for squash vine borers. But other pests... He talks of stink bugs and of pickle worms.

--Am I right, some bugs actually don't eat the plant or cause damage? Correct please if wrong.

-- pickle worms he said he doesn't know a fix. You?



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Post  OhioGardener 5/6/2022, 5:17 pm

Soose wrote:--As prolific as squashes are supposed to be, how big a job would hand pollinating be?

A big job.  The squash blooms in the early morning and wait a short time for the pollinators (insects, or you) to do their job. Then the bloom closes and starts to whither up.  Frequently the blooms close so quickly that bees get trapped inside and end up eating their way out of the bloom.

But, bees do love the blooms for the short time they are open....Old Alabama Gardener YouTube channel Squash28

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Post  sanderson 5/6/2022, 5:31 pm

Soose wrote:
sanderson wrote:I can't find the photo right now, but Yolos potted a summer squash and used a tomato cage to cover everything tightly with bridal tulle.

Ok, so we would need to hand pollinate the squash flowers if the whole plant is covered with tulle.
Yes. Some folks, like me, have to hand pollinate due to the limited number of pollinators in the neighborhood.

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Post  yolos 5/6/2022, 6:35 pm

Here is the picture of the squash or Zucchini growing in a whiskey barrel, covered in tulle.  The tulle does not have to be this high, I did it like this because I did not want to cut my tulle.  See the black binder clips, that is where I open the tulle and hand pollinate.  I only did this one year (2016).  Now when I use tulle, I cover the whole bed.  
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I got tired of fighting SVB and pickle worms so I have not been growing squash/zucchini much lately.  

You have to open the tulle covering every morning to hand pollinate, if there is a female and male flower both open.

I have found a species of zucchini that is parthenocarpic and self fertilizing - Partenon.  Therefore,  you should not have to hand pollinate.

Pickle worm is worse than anything else.  Trying to cover vining cucumbers with  tulle and then hand pollinate is not fun.  I try to  plant them early and harvest early.  Also there are a few parthenocarpic cucumbers that I have tried.  Can't remember their names now.  I have heard that the pickle worm moth does not lay the eggs until later in the day.  So you could theoretically uncover plants in the morning and then to let pollinators in, then cover them up in the afternoon.  I never tried this.  They also attack squash.
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Post  Soose 5/6/2022, 8:51 pm

Ty Yolos, for sharing your experience with squashes. You aren't the first I've heard who has just chosen not to grow squash.

I could live without yellow squash, but does this mean giving up the other options like melons and butternut squashes, don't the same insects go after all of them?
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Post  Soose 5/6/2022, 9:00 pm

Ty Yolos, for sharing your experience with squashes.  You aren't the first I've heard who has just chosen not to grow squash.

Hand pollination then, OhioGardener, is just not for new gardeners like me and my family. It would have to be a very special squash for that trouble!

 I could live without yellow squash, but does this mean giving up the other options like melons and butternut squashes, don't the same insects go after all of them?

You know, I have heard frequently from both a neighbor and a friend that "their parents had large row gardens, and growing a vegetable garden [or squash] should not be difficult!" I've puzzled for awhile at this difference.

Suddenly today, it occurred to me that in my parents' and their parents' times, and I guess in our grandparents' times, it was common to use insecticides like sevin. Everyone used insecticides. I remember the tomato patches being doused with powdered insecticide. Sad
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Post  yolos 5/6/2022, 9:13 pm

Soose wrote:Ty Yolos, for sharing your experience with squashes.  You aren't the first I've heard who has just chosen not to grow squash.

 I could live without yellow squash, but does this mean giving up the other options like melons and butternut squashes, don't the same insects go after all of them?  
Winter squash (which I think butternut is one) are not as susceptible to SVB (but can sometimes get hit with SVB) and probably the pickle worms may not penetrate the skin, but not sure of that.  I grew tromboncino squash one year and the SVB did not attack it.  Can't remember whether the pickle worm bored into it or not.  Various squash growing in 2016.

Tromboncino Squash
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I get downy mildew on my squash vines every year so the leaves do not look so good.
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Post  OhioGardener 5/6/2022, 9:19 pm

Soose wrote: I could live without yellow squash, but does this mean giving up the other options like melons and butternut squashes, don't the same insects go after all of them? 

Some of the winter squash, such as Butternut, Cushaw, and Banana or resistant to the SVB due to their hardened stems. Summer squash, though, tend to have very tender stems which are vulnerable to the SVB.

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Post  markqz 5/7/2022, 1:01 am

Soose wrote: Suddenly today, it occurred to me that in my parents' and their parents' times, and I guess in our grandparents' times, it was common to use insecticides like sevin.  Everyone used insecticides.  I remember the tomato patches being doused with powdered insecticide.  Sad
Especially if you've already started the squash, it might be worth experimenting with diatomaceous earth. It's pretty cheap -- even cheaper if you apply it as a spray.

I don't know what pickle worm is, but if it's any of the standard moth caterpillars then thuricide (BT) might work on it.

I tried tulle and then agrinom (?) for a year or so. But it didn't do anything against aphids, and prevented me from seeing new infestations. Then OG mentioned thuricide, and it seemed to work against the looper moths. So I'm trying without for the moment, but I still have the frames in place just in case.
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Post  Soose 5/7/2022, 1:48 am

I have a huge bag of food grade DE, don't know how to spray it?

(Ty Mark et al for all the education about squashes and pests! I'm afraid ill leave someone out... Trying to learn upbfront rather than from school of hard knocks. )

I just saw something on a post on a squash bug video... Someone (said he runs a community garden... was it KS?... swears by this variation on using BT...

Use a syringe to inject BT at base of main squash stalk... Colonizes the interior of the stalk without hurting plant, and acts on larvae that enter, immediately? Supposedly better than aluminum foil measures to protect. Do it only once per plant.

So the person said. What do you think?

( I was waiting until I could get on my desktop in the morning and quote it in this thread. There was a note on the size of the syringe to use. Will try, stay tuned, my phone won't let me copy comments on YouTube videos. )
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Post  OhioGardener 5/7/2022, 9:31 am

Soose wrote:Use a syringe to inject BT at base of main squash stalk... Colonizes the interior of the stalk without hurting plant, and acts on larvae that enter, immediately?   Supposedly better than aluminum foil measures to protect.  Do it only once per plant.

So the person said.  What do you think?

This article describes the process:

How to Inject a Squash Plant for Vine Borers


It is important to know that Bt has a very short life span, a max active life of 7 days once applied, so it must be repeated weekly.  This is also true of using Bt on Brassica family to prevent the cabbage worm from destroying the plants.


Last edited by OhioGardener on 5/7/2022, 12:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  yolos 5/7/2022, 11:51 am

OhioGardener wrote:
Soose wrote:Use a syringe to inject BT at base of main squash stalk... Colonizes the interior of the stalk without hurting plant, and acts on larvae that enter, immediately?   Supposedly better than aluminum foil measures to protect.  Do it only once per plant.

So the person said.  What do you think?

This article describes the process:
How to Inject a Squash Plant for Vine Borers

It is important to know that Bt has a very short life span, a max active life of 7 days once applied, so it must be repeated weekly.  This is also true of using Bt on Brassica family to prevent the cabbage worm from destroying the plants.
That link is not taking me to How to Inject etc
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Post  OhioGardener 5/7/2022, 12:13 pm

yolos wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:This article describes the process:
How to Inject a Squash Plant for Vine Borers

It is important to know that Bt has a very short life span, a max active life of 7 days once applied, so it must be repeated weekly.  This is also true of using Bt on Brassica family to prevent the cabbage worm from destroying the plants.
That link is not taking me to How to Inject etc

Odd.  I checked it and it worked, but I reloaded the address. See if it works now.

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Post  yolos 5/7/2022, 1:21 pm

OhioGardener wrote:
yolos wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:This article describes the process:
How to Inject a Squash Plant for Vine Borers

It is important to know that Bt has a very short life span, a max active life of 7 days once applied, so it must be repeated weekly.  This is also true of using Bt on Brassica family to prevent the cabbage worm from destroying the plants.
That link is not taking me to How to Inject etc

Odd.  I checked it and it worked, but I reloaded the address. See if it works now.
Yep, works now.  Thanks.  Don't know why it did not work for me earlier.
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