Squash vine borers

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We're retired now and can't afford to by row covers. This gardening is starting to get expensive. Insecticide, weed cloth, fertilizers, limestone, Ironite.........

The *&^%$# borer is usually not near the hole. I have to slit the stem and look for it, and the plant (crooknecks and zucchini) never recovers. I'm going to put collars on them and use Sevin under and around the collars. If that doesn't work I'll have to give up on these squash.

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On Sat, 10 May 2008 21:52:26 -0500, "Katey Didd"
Uh oh...ironite. Of course, if you are using Sevin, Ironite is likely of no concern to you.
Care Charlie
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Squash bugs do more damage to my zucchini than do the vine borers. Here is a link:
http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/dp_hfrr/extensn/problems/squashbg.htm
They lay reddish eggs on the underside of leaves, in a pyramid shape. We try to keep up with inspecting the leaves for eggs but they often get out of hand quickly so we plant a couple of plants weeks apart and that helps.
Jane and Steve
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They are not a big problem here. The borers are ones that do the bush squash in.
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You've opened up a big can of panic, dragging McLuhan into the discussion. I'd mostly forgotten about him, lots of thought comes from him, I had to review some. Which reminded me that I have trouble deeply understanding what he wrote, but I do grasp the basic tenets and sorta get it.
Working from the premise that we are descending into some, uh, potentially dire straits, how are we to rebuild community when so much of what we used to be has been.....changed. Gone. How the hell we gonna deal with *that* when things get really tough? Rugged individualism....feh. It is going to take things that has been, in a large part, replaced.
Morality is gone, talking, contemplating, working together, knowing what is truly important....mostly gone. Awareness helps, but is it enough?
Ah well, we've our work cut for us, my friend. Maybe our boys are payin' attention. I see encouraging signs more and more often.
Thanks fer startin' the lesson, I'll work on it as I wrestle with sleep, perfessor ;-) Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message wrote:

Should it be? Our soil is so alkaline it's recommended Ironite be used.

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On Mon, 12 May 2008 22:50:16 -0500, "Katey Didd"

Yes.
I see you found Billy's excellant followup. I would recommend returning it for a refund if unopened. Don't just toss it in the trash or creek or wherever.
Charlie
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Dispose of the Ironite in an ecological manner (the jerk next door is always a good choice). Excuse me, I seem to be having a schizophrenic moment. As I was saying, in an ecologically responsible manner, and use sulfur powder or sphagnum moss to lower your soil's pH. The world will thank you. Your community will thank you, and your metabolism will thank you.
--

Billy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVTfcAyYGg&ref=patrick.net

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wrote:

use powdered lime to counteract alkalinity. Ironite is nasty stuff. chemicals like Sevin should be used sparingly, if at all, as well. stick around & ask questions. we can help you move to a more organic (& possibly less expensive) form of gardening. lee
--
Last night while sitting in my chair
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wrote:

ack, no, lime is for acid soil. sulpher is for alkaline. sorry! lee
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says...

If possible I'd like to keep them out of the vines. The seedlings just came up the other day.

Oh I heard about this, but they never rooted. They'd wilt and die. Finding where the borer is in the vine is not so easy even when the hole is found.

Yes, that has us concerned. Will check sites below. Thanks.

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Ah, OK.
You could be somewhere, where your squash is already in the ground and well along. The newsgroup is worldwide and your posts appear to be coming through datemas.de which makes it look like you're in Germany.
I only know our area, and of that I only know our garden well and it changes according to the weather and climate.

Could it be that the vines were infected?
I'm pretty sure my wife watered at the covered, damage point but I'd have to ask her, and she's not here right now.
I'd wonder if encouraging rooting at different points along the length of a vine would be helpful. (Anyone care to comment?) We had one that was virtually destroyed at the original root butproduced well through the season from roots along its length.

What I like about Google is that it throws up information for farmers as well as gardeners... We have something between 80 and 120 books on gardening but they don't deal with the issues in quite the same way.
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I am in the mid south USA. The vines in past years don't appear infected with yellows. The borers destroy the inner part, the leaves wilt and the plant dies. Even if borer is found the plant never recovers and fades away.

Zucchini and yellow crooknecks don't really have vines. They're more bush shaped.
(Anyone care to comment?) We had one that

That must be a more vinelike plant the crookneck and zucchini. These do not root at the leaf nodes. At least they never did for us.

I was hoping to run across someone that tried something that actually worked for them.
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oh! you're planting bush squash... that's different, then. yes, it's *much* harder to find & control borers & they're much more likely to destroy the entire plant. that's why i don't grow bush type squash. both zuchinni & yellow crookneck should be available as vining type, but you may need to look for heirloom seeds. lee
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Thanks. We may look into it for next year.

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Katey Didd wrote:

http://www.victoryseeds.com/catalog/vegetable/cucurbita/squash_summer.html
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My neighbor dusts with BT and also injects the vines with a BT solution, and the vines take over his backyard and produce like crazy.
Another option is rubbing Vicks VapoRub on the stems, which supposedly will deter vine borers. Maybe the VapoRub plus wrapping the stems with foil would increase the effectiveness. I have not tried this tip but it seems like it might be worth a shot.
Dee
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It's certainly affordable and worth a try. Thanks.

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Katey Didd said:

Anywhere along the main stem where it makes contact with the ground. You need to lift the plant up and move it around a bit to do a thorough inspection. And you need to start looking for eggs long before you would expect to see the plants drooping or lots of frass oozing out of the stems.
I've noticed that the moths quite often lay their eggs on the leaf stems of zucchinis as well as on the main stem.

These would be winter squashes. Many of these could be harvested small and green as summer squashes, though. Mini-pumpkins and delicata squashes are C. pepo squashes, just like zucchini and crooknecks. Zucchetta rampicante tromboncino is a running squash that is usually grown as a summer squash. I've grown these before. Very productive, huge fruit--way too much summer squash for me!
There are also edible gourds that are runners that can be used like summer squash. Snake gourds (Trichosanthes anguina) and luffas (Luffa cylindrica) can be eaten when small. Johnny's Selected Seeds (http://www.johnnyseeds.com ) carries some edible gourd varieties. I'm trying out a luffa ('Rama') this summer myself. I'm trellising it in space that might otherwise have gone to another hill of zucchini.

No, it wouldn't with bush squash. You could try using a fine wire with a hook on the end to fish them out. Or you could use a syringe to inject BT or beneficial nematodes into the vine. I used to do that (and it did help) before I learned to identify the eggs and and pick those off. You need a big bore needle, which you should be able to get at an equine supply place.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Thanks. I have one of those huge needles. Like I said. I'll try the suggestion of a tinfoil collar, egg hunting, Sevin dust etc on the stem. If the problem still occurs I'll give up on squash. I hunt the seed racks here and they just have the common varieties. We spend so much money on the gardens already I fear my husband will object to buying seeds from catalogs or online. The prices are always so much higher. Retired, we're on a limited income now.

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