Zucchini -nope

newtoucanMarch 29, 2014

I set out a zucchini seedling today in a very nice prepared half barrel. I've always had trouble with those squash vine borers. I sprayed neem right away. I read here to put panty hose or toilet paper tube over them to prevent those bugs.

I came back a few hrs later with the toilet paper tube only to find the healthy leaves completely gone. What is this squash borer? Is it a flying insect, catepillars or worm. I think it must be a flying insect because I used fresh potting soil.

I set out another one in another barrel and this time put the tube on right away. Question is can't the borer just go in the tube and eat the plant anyway?

Once the zucchini grows bigger than the tube, won't the borer just come and lop the plant off again.


This post was edited by toucan on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 23:51

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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

toucan, that sounds more like a grasshopper or birds than the SVB. Plus, I don't think the borers have showed up yet.

The theory behind the paper tubes and/or panty hose covers is that the SVB enters the vine from the soil, they won't jump over the tube/hose. If you are using a length of panty hose, be sure it's secured at the soil line.

The tube/hose prevents the bug from access to the hollow vine. With SVB damage the vine will wilt and die, SVB does not nibble the leaves.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:23AM
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Thanks. Pretty sure it's the birds then. I saw them chatting about it near the scene.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 9:21AM
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About those SVB, so they don't enter from the vine itself, just at the soil?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 9:30AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

It's my understanding that they enter the vine from the soil. The tube creates a barrier.

Personally, I think the best preventive is remay (that light-weight gardening fabric that lets in UV) covers so the moths don't lay the eggs. It's been a while since I did this research so I may have some stuff mangled in my head - that is possible ;-) .

I've simply avoided hollow vined squash. If you grow tromobcino, for example, no SVB's because the vine itself is solid. There's other solid vine squashes too.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Thanks for the advice. I've gotten the zucchini further along than before which is basically two true leaves. I have the paper tubes and aluminum foil over the bottom stem. I have mosquito netting over the large pot. I planted 2 in good potting soil and one in freshly composted manure (5 weeks). The one in the manure looks the most robust. The ones in the regular potting soil are lighter in color and not as healthy looking. I added fish fertiziler to help along.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:38PM
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Also be on the lookout for squirrels, they ate mine to the ground a few times before I wised up.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:21PM
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