This is incredibly frustrating..
I see a ton of info re: squash vine borers, wilt, etc. but have so far
missed anything like a comprehensive solution to the bug problem..
My situation: I started 2 each spaghetti, butternut squash, melons of
various kinds including watermelon, etc. Pumpkins.
All are being decimated by some form of wilt or borer. Vines that died
and have been removed show no obvious sign of borer.. no holes near the
base, one vine I ripped open showed no worm inside.
Plants are fine one day, dead the next. Regular watering.
I have a lot of cucumber beetles in the garden and what I think are
harlequin bugs (flat, diamond shaped). Also a new bug that might be a
squash bug (shaped like the small bug spacecraft from Red Dwarf).
Even my butternut succumbed. I have some nerf-football sized melons,
but I doubt they will mature.
Plants were started inside, hardened off properly, planted into a
raised bed under black plastic and PAMPERED!!! Plants are 2-3 feet
apart, and the vines are sprawled all over one end of the garden. You
can't walk among the vines, so hand-crushing eggs/patrolling is
problematic. Should the vines be pruned to say 2 vines per plant?
I plan to build some cold-frame sized screen enclosures for vines next
year in the hope this might help me get a crop to maturity. I had one
good year at this location, the last 3 have been bugs-bugs-bugs.
Debris is pulled and burned, so shouldn't be overwintering the pests.
I'm even starting more in the hope the pests will be done by the time
the 2nd generation matures (if it can before frost).
I am trying floating row covers, but we get serious winds in my region
and all new frc are now tattered (tying over #9 wire).
Thanks for reading this far! Open to suggestions!!
Frustrated in Zone 4..