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Master Of My Domain
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Discussion Starter #1
i was a bit dissappointed to find out that there are two major pests i need to battle. i was thinking the squash bug and squash vine borer were the same critter. live and learn i guess. :shrug: i was sure all of my efforts to kill the squash bugs would help keep my plants from dying next year...hoping i was reducing the population. i see no real way for me to to control the vine borer.

i think i may have even allowed a borer to lay eggs in one of my plants, thinking it was a beneficial wasp type critter. i had the chance to kill the bugger and didn't, lol. grrrrrr...now i have a pumpkin vine that is in really bad shape and two squash and zuke plants that are suffering. i did surgery on the pumpkin, summer squash and zuke plants yesterday and removed some borers. the pumpkins roots are mostly all rotted away, but the zuke and squash may bounce back as they looked healthier. i covered the cut areas of the stem/crown with peat moss topped with dirt and watered them well. i covered 2 feet of the pumpkin vine in the hope that it may develop some roots.

the bummer is that i spent probably 4 hours of valuable gardening time this year plucking squash bug eggs and drowning adults. they don't do near the damage that borers do. i could have been doing other much needed stuff.
i will give the squash/stink bugs this much...they are one of the most resiliant pests i have seen. they tunnel in the ground, breed like rabbits and can fly away if you are not careful when you catch them. on six hills of squash and pumpkin, i have plucked 100-150+ adults and enough eggs to cover 2-3 feet of duct tape.they sure are determined to survive.
 

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i feel your pain. squash of various kinds are a mainstay of my garden. they also get melons and pumpkins.

it looks as if it is impossible to grow curcurbits organically any more. any that i buy or get as gifts, have pesticides on them. my dilemma now is do i give them up entirely? they are normally at least half of my garden. or do i break down and use sevin judiciously?

of course, nothing here is doing any good. i've given up for the year, except for some beans, okra and onions that are hanging in there.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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Discussion Starter #3
i suspect my musk melon may have been hit too, but i don't want to squeeze the stalk too much checking for damage, lol. i will just have to wait and see.

i read that butternuts, and several others, are more tolerant of borer damage than other squash. so i take that to mean that hard keeper squash GENERALLY fare better than softer summer squash like zukes and such. (not that the softer fruit has anything to do with the stalks, but ...ahh, you get my drift)
 

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Just picked what I assume will be the last zuchinni and the yellow squash leaves are going fast.....I think I harvested maybe 7 zuchinni....unheard of!!!

I have sprayed the ornamental gourds and bird house gourd vines after I saw a couple of them wilting.....hopefully I got it in time! First time I have dealt with them early.....seems like I see a few in July and by the time the vines are impacted, I am so tired of seeing squash, so I don't worry about it.
 

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MELOC,

I kind of wondered from one of your other posts if you were aware that there were borers AND squash bugs. Sorry, I should have asked.

From what I've read, you're right that butternuts (and all moschata varieties) are more tolerant of borers, but it's because they have a solid stem. Borers will go after pepo and maxima varieties (winter or summer squash) because they have hollow stems. But butternuts are ALSO less appetizing to squash bugs! I usually don't find squash bugs on my butternuts until the end of the season. I think they finally give up on my pepo and maxima squashes because of all the squishing and spraying I do through the summer.

I've also heard that borer damage can be mitigated by burying the main stems of your squash vines. I'm not sure if this is to keep the borers from getting to the stems or to allow the plant to root into the ground in more places and get around the borer damage.
 
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