I lost 16 squash plants to the Squash Vine Borer this summer. Fortunately, I started new seed the minute I transplanted the original plants to the garden. And then continued to do that each time I lost some so I’d have back-up.
Even though the SVB killed the first of both my yellow squash and my Zuchetta (a vining zucchini) they seem to definitely prefer the yellow squash. Same with the squash bug. I’ve killed some on the Zuchetta, but I’ve noticed they seem to stay with the yellow squash more. (A useful piece of information to have when planning various strategies in the war against both SVB and squash bug.)
Hope I’m not speaking too quickly, but it looks like I may get squash — even if they are late. Five plants are looking really good.
But — as the saying goes — it ain’t over till it’s over.
After the squash are finished I intend to look through the soil in that area and make an effort to find any pupae of the squash vine borer that may be there since I was unable to locate any larvae in the stems this year. Pupae are about 1 inch long, brown or grey, and resemble a fiber-like wad. I may not find them — but I’m going to look.
As always when my squash is finished I’ll leave the plants in the garden for a while and continue to check everyday for squash bugs. If I take the plants out of the garden too quickly they’ll just move to and feed on something else, fattening up for hibernation in the soil. But if I leave the squash plants — they stay with them and I can greatly reduce their numbers.
I think the low number of squash bugs this year was due to my diligence last fall.
So when your squash is finished —- REMEMBER — it ain’t over ’til it’s over! Leave those plants in the garden for a few weeks until you’ve killed every squash bug you can. Then take them out and destroy them — just in case there are eggs on them you may have missed.
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.
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