Possible solutions to squash problems

shebear(z8 NCentralTex)June 21, 2008

Lately I've been reading old garden books. I've done this because it appears somewhere things have been forgotten. Maybe because chemicals became more available or maybe just because, but needless to say solutions to problems that don't include chemicals don't seem to be out there.

Take squash bugs.......I don't remember grandpa having problems with squash bugs but for the life of me I can't remember what he did. However, in this old book, I found some things I'm going to try. So this fall I'm planting summer squash and using rows cover until they bloom. Then I'm burying the stems up to where they start to flower. Also I planting nasturiums and radish in with the squash....right next them and up around the base of them. I'll also ring them in french marigolds. And if that doesn't keep the bugs away, I guess I'll buy squash.

Anybody have any other ideas.

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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

I forgot one idea.......misting with imitation vanilla.

Well at least it would smell good.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 1:29AM
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Back in the thirties, folks tried to hold back the squash vine borer by covering the base of the plant at ground level with fresh chicken manure. Still lost the squash plants but it did seem to buy a little time.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 8:44AM
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I wonder if the flyer that lays the borer eggs is attracted by the color of the vines. Perhaps someone could try using a red coloring on the bases of the vines and see if those vines get fewer borers.

Some of the more modern articles on dealing with borers suggest wrapping the bottom 10 inches of stem with tin foil as it confuses the flyer with respect to the sun thereby disrupting its egglaying. Another suggestion is to put diatomaceous earth on the base of the vines. Perhaps spraying Bt on the vine base would kill the newly hatched borer as it begins chewing the stem.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 9:31AM
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Hi! Here's something I read in the Joy of Gardening about trapping squash bugs, not the squash vine borer: at night lay a slightly raised board in the bed, then watch for bugs that congregate there overnight. Maureen

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 9:51AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

Thanks for you input. I'll add them to my list of remedies.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:09PM
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You can't go wrong with radishes around your squashes!! I haven't seen a squash bug all year and I probably won't.
I still have the borers though.. you can trap the moths that cause them with a bottle trap with vinegar and water.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:49PM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

Oh thanks chickenista, I've never heard of the vinegar and water thing.....and I forgot about the radishes. I have about 12 squash seedlings ready to go in so I guess I'll have to find some bottles.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:59PM
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..one organic method that works is to place a small piece of wood like half a shingle near the root or any branch and then in the early morning pick it up and turn it over.and you will find the squash bugs that collected there for the nite..they are very sluggish then and will not move..just scrap them into a jar or disposable container..but do not touch them as their odor is extremely foul..then search the under side of nearby leaves for eggs and remove them too..


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 8:42AM
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