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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Squash Vine Borer: That's A Wrap

2008_0817image0008 The 4 squash plants started from seed that I direct sowed are so through!  They produced a mere two edible squash.  The worst part about it is that I cooked the two Golden Zucchini in a casserole from a recipe I found at Skippy's Vegetable Garden and although the casserole looked yummy, we decided we hate zucchini.  If I'd known that, I could have let the evil squash vine borer win a long time ago. 

2008_0817image0010 What I noticed was that, even though I'd made many attempts to control the squash vine borer, they attacked the plants from ground-level up.  The stems became really rotten looking but still kept flowering and the ends looked pretty darn healthy.  But, because the stems were so infected, they were not able to efficiently send water to the flowers so I had to water constantly!  In fact, I wondered if I had watered them several times per day if they would have kept growing and producing.  But, at some point along the way I started not caring that much about the stupid gold zucchini. 

2008_0817image0044 I will not be growing this again next year, not because of the squash vine borrer invasion (I would totally win the battle next year.  KNOW THAT!) but because we don't like to eat them.  But, if I were growing them again, here's what I'd do to prevent the invasion.

Start treating the plants with Sharp Shooter on a weekly basis as soon as they are a few inches tall.  I think I discovered these evil bugs way too late but I do believe the sharp shooter works because the actual bugs definitely did not like it.  It's a great organic pest control.

As much as I hate to do it, I'll be writing this crop down in the failure column.  Good luck zucchini growers! May the force be with you.

see more squash vine borer posts here

see more growing challenge posts here


  1. Dee/reddirtramblingsAugust 31, 2008 at 6:28 AM

    I don't like gold zucchini either. Planted it once and never again. I like the straight neck and crook neck yellow and the dark green zucchinis, but it must be easier to grow it in the south. I'll remember your sharp shooter recommendation next year.~~Dee

  2. You should try the round squash like 'Cue Ball' and 'Eight Ball', I think you would like them. And try an old-fashioned green zucchini before you give up completely on squash.

    If you do, you will get to show all of us that yes, you would beat these squash vine borers next year.
    Otherwise, it's just talk!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. You should have made them into Zucchini Bread - even my kids like that. I'll keep that Sharp Shooter in mind for next year, when I'll be trying to grow zucchini in containers for the first time. I don't want to see my plants destroyed by those nasty critters. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  4. I rec'd a free bottle of SS and used it. Love it. SVB big problem here this year. Will tell folks...thanks for the great idea.

  5. zucchini are so productive - the zucchini bread sounds good

  6. Oh no! Drat! As someone who yanked 6 huge dead plants earlier this summer my heart truly goes out to you! Well, I refuse to give up. I pulled all my plants around 7/25 and re-planted new seed. Supposedly the SVB's only lay eggs in the 1st half of the summer and by planting after 7/15 I should miss them this time. Only problem is these plants are taking forever! Maybe I'll get one or two squash before frost? Maybe? I'm with you, on taking a more active approach. I think I'll try again next year with a multi-faceted security system- I was thinking maybe spraying Sevin (I read that work somewhere) every 5 days, using floating row covers and I dunno, maybe something else all at the same time and see if that works. I refuse to give up. Refuse!

  7. Misery loves company! I feel so much better knowing that I'm not the only one who can't grow squash. I'll try your idea next year, I won't give up either! Thanks!

  8. bees pollinate squash. Sevin kills bees.