Hello group - thanks in advance for your opinions.
I am in zone 6 so my gardening days are about 3 weeks or so away I guess.
Starting three years and worse the past two years I have had what I think is
vine bore bugs totally destroy my cucumbers and squash plants. I tried
moving them to a different part of the garden but I only have a 12 x 20 plot
to work with so it didn't seem to help.
Do these bugs live in the dirt from year to year? How do I get rid of them?
.... is there an additive I can till into the soil not before spring
If I can't find something I trust to work I am not even going to plant cucs
and squash this year but I will alas miss them.
Also, my garden results seem to have gone down every year for the past
several despite more work .... how do I best prepare my soil?
Last year I got the best results in soem case the only results from leftover
plants that I stuck in old flower pots.
Any advice welcome ..... thanks ...
Squash vine borers do not do cucumbers so you have another problem. I
would suspect striped cucumber beetles. It also sounds like you need a
soil test and some amendments to improve the quality of your soil. You
can take a soil sample to your Agricultural Extension Agent and get an
analysis with recommendations. Plowing under or removing debris will
help with the insects, but not complete. If you have no objections to
using insecticides, These will give good control.
Squash bugs and/or vine borers will a lot of damage if left unchecked. It's
key to get them under control early. Since you have a small plot, hand
picking squash bug egg clusters (look for them under every leaf) and dusting
the stems for borers should do the trick. Irrigate deeply and weekly during
dry weather. Apply fungicide every week to control mildew.
Cukes will benefit from regular irrigation and fungicide applications, too.
You can dust weekly with Rotenone to control cuke beetle.
I don't know how to 'best prepare' your soil, but I build my garden soil
every year with compost, wood ash, and grass clippings.
live in the sea. Diatom-aceous earth is made from those shells. They are
grouned so fine , that when you put your hand through it, it is softer than
You can buy Diatomaceous earth at a discount chain, or in the Pool
Supplies store, because they also use diatomaceous earth for pool
filters. I bought mine at Home Depot for $10.00 a 10 pound bag which
will last you forever because it's used very sparingly.
Sprinkle it, using a small sieve, around the base of those plants that
need it. Or sprinkle it in the earth before planting.. gently as if
dusting a cake with powdered sugar.
Try not to get it on open blossoms for obvious reasons...though it
probably wouldn't kill you.
Under a microscope, this talcum-like powder looks like jagged glass
shards,,,,,,that's what kills the bad little bugs! I put just a tiny
drop on a grub and he started writhing. I put it out of its misery
immediately...(I'm afraid to pul a carrot out of the ground, lest it
pain the carrot).
Try it...of all the folks to whom I recommended this, every one raved
about it. I had an infestation; over the winter I dusted every single
row and watered it in. You should turn it over before dusting. By
spring - NOT ONE single GRUB!
Diatomaceous earth used in pool filters is not the same as regular
diatomaceous earth, and it should not be used in the garden. It has been
heat treated and does not have the same properties as the regular powdered
kind. On the other hand, regular D-E (diatomaceous earth) is useful .
Diatomaceous earth is useless when wet, and is effective only when dry. I'm
doubtful that diatomaceous earth control grub worms, however beneficial
nematodes are very effective and will control grub worms as well as fleas.
They can be ordered easily either mail order or from many online sources and
are applied using a hose-end sprayer. They should be applied either in the
cool of the morning or late evening.
Beneficial nematodes are undoubtedly one of the factors that has helped
my garden be a success. I highly recommend them.
One of the articles I read about diatomaceous earth cautioned to be
careful about using it in the garden . . . it will also kill your
earthworms. The beneficial nematodes, on the other hand, will help with
the grubs and not harm earthworms. Those earthworms are your most
valuable asset in your garden (or on our entire planet) and should
definitely be encouraged.
This is one of those situations where "Do no harm" is appropriate,
something which which the earthworms will surely agree. :-)
Sounds to me like Pickleworm. I have been plagued by them ever since i
started gardening (4 years ago) i finally gave up on cukes and squash
(in fact anything in the cucurbit family) the only thing that worked one
year was 7 dust, i had a little success with hot pepper and garlic
spray, but i hate chemical pesticides so i opted to not grow the
cucurbits unless i am ready for all out war with tons of organic things.
if you find something that works, please re-post here it may help others :)
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