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Squash borers

Posted by chickenmom 7b/8a, DFW, TX (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 1, 12 at 23:04

Can anyone give me an idea of when squash borers first show up in north central Texas? As I understand it, once they are here you are supposed to look for eggs at the base of the plants?? And/or dust with Sevin every week? Anyone have a system of dealing with borers that has worked out? I have real doubts that I'll be able to see any tiny little eggs. I had years of growing squash with no problems, then two years ago they totally wiped out all my squash and cucumbers. Last year's weather took care of the garden. Any ideas would be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Squash borers

I am using a floating row cover. It goes on tomorrow....I hope.


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RE: Squash borers

I wonder about covering / wrapping the stems of the plant. Seems like that'd keep them off, or make it difficult for them to get into the stems. I've seen velcro rolls in garden stores for other purposes, but it seems you could just work your way up, wrapping the stems.

Dumping chemicals on plants that you eat seems like a lousy idea. And squash (I'm referring mainly to zucchini) have edible leaves, flowers, and of course the "fruit". I've only used Bt on my plants, but that's at least natural and biological, and sane.


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RE: Squash borers

I have heard of using foil wrapped around the base of the stem and placing a light blue foil on the ground under the plant.


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RE: Squash borers

I've used foil for cutworms on tomatoes, but I thought it wouldn't work on squash plants since the wasp(moth?) can just fly up higher and lay the egg above the foil...I could cut the row cover into strips and see if I could wrap the main part of the stems??? Aluminum seems like it would cut the stems if you tried to wrap much above the bottom part. It is worth a try though and I'm going to look into getting floating row cover too. I read you can put down a yellow saucer with liquid which will attract the adults and that will tell you when to start worrying about eggs. I guess you have to remove the row cover for pollination or do it yourself with a brush or something.......I can't believe I had all those years of no trouble with squash borers and then they just suddenly moved in............I had Japanese beetles for the first time on roses as well and sewed fine net fabric (tulle) into covers for my two small Austin roses. It worked, but looked kind of weird to have two roses wearing "hair nets" in the flowerbed. The net should be tight enough to keep out adult borers; maybe I'll try that too...Thanks for the ideas!


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RE: Squash borers

Good luck...I haven't seen them yet--but I did plant varieties they don't like that much, so I'm hoping they'll mostly skip me (I know..probably in vain but I did see a wasp doing in a tomato hornworm today, so I can hope, right?)


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RE: Squash borers

I was just talking to the gardener down at the Natural Gardener, that is in charge of their display garden. They cover the squash untill there are male and female flowers and then they uncover them and let flowers get pollinated and the the squash grow. They take the covers off and cover up their next crop of baby squash.The squash bores will then not have enough time to mature and cause their damage before the crop is done. Or that is his theory.


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RE: Squash borers

SVBs have been terrible for me this year. I'm in Garland, in the DFW metroplex. I've picked eggs like crazy, injected BT, extracted worms, and all still lost some plants, and have gotten poor yields of what has survived. Next year, I am definitely planning on using Tulle netting to cover my plants. Hand pollinating is super easy and actually fun, so I'll probably just do most of it myself, or when I have a good amount of female flowers just uncover and hopelly fight off the SVBs just long enough so that my fruit are mature. Considering the size of pumpkin vines, we're going to have to have HUGE nets to cover the plants. Anyone have any good advice on how to sew together tulle netting? Also how does it hold up under the sun? Hopefully it wont disintegrate.


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