Squash vine borers

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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
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wrote:

ack, no, lime is for acid soil. sulpher is for alkaline. sorry! lee
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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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Katey Didd said:

You aren't going to like this:
I inspect thouroughly inspect the plants every 24-36 hours and remove any eggs I find. This is quick and easy when they are small but gets harder once they sprawl. I also kill any moths I can. The moth is a red and black moth that is a darn good wasp imitator. (Too bad for the moth that there are no similarly colored wasps for the educated gardener to confuse it with, at least in my part of the country.) The moth flies and lays eggs during the day. I've notice that they often rest on bean plants (if there are any nearby).
Sometimes I miss an egg, but usually find the borer quickly enough to scrap it out or kill it with a fine wire. The moths initially stick to the very base of the vine, but as they spread they also begin to attack anywhere the plant touches the ground, including leaf petioles as well as the running stems.
Also, the extension service publications always say something like "eggs laid singly" but I invariably find more than one and sometimes large numbers on one plant early in the season when the vines are small. When you fine one egg, look around some more nearby.
Another tip: sometimes the eggs are laid slightly *below* ground level. (This is one reason why, if you use a pesticide, it should be in a liquid form rather than dust: you need to have it run down the stem to reach below the soil surface.)
Eventually the first generation of moths will taper off, and the vines will have run around a lot and will have rooted at enough points to get by even if they have a few borers.
Bush squash are a tougher problem, being hard to inspect. I've toyed with the idea of growing them up a short, heavy stake but haven't ever actually done that. Usually by the time they fall to borers, I've had my fill of zuchinnis (the only bush-types I grow).
I always rip out an discard the squash vines when they die. And during any cultivation, I always pick out and destroy any moth pupae I find.
It really helps to plant resistant varieties: butternuts, cushaws, and any cross-species hybrids with a butternut, like the Japanese-bred "Tetsukabuto" which is an excellent squash with the texture of a buttercup and the the borer tolerence of a butternut.
Buttercup and Hubbard squashes -- Cucurbita maxima varieties -- are the most susceptible/attractive to borers, with C. pepo types (Jack o'lantern and field pumpkins, acorn, delicata and summer squashes) not far behind.
PDF with some good pics of the moths: http://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/spfiles/SP503-A.pdf
--
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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Katey Didd wrote:

You might try Spaghetti Squash then. They run like pumpkins, so they should send down roots at each node (if they do get a borer, they still have enough roots that it doesn't matter)
Bob
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We grew them one year and no one liked them. No one ate them.

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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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