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Old 08-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #21
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We love squash and zucchini, but the vine borers rarely let us have any fruit before they kill the stinkin' plant!
Vine borers will devastate squash plants. I didn't make a thing last year. This year I have been keeping the vines dusted with sevin and doing much better. Actually I'm about sick of squash ( till next summer ). I've put a lot in the freezer and given away a good bit also.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #22
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This year I have been keeping the vines dusted with sevin and doing much better.
No organic farming for you eh?
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:16 PM   #23
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This isn't much in the way of organic control for vine borers that I know of. Some people use row covers, I have in the past actually surgically removed the beast from the vine but its time consuming.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:31 PM   #24
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Sure, I love squash.

But it's not anymore than I love zucchini, butter lettuce, spinach, cucumber, tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, celery, mustard green, onion, cabbage, etc...
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I forgot brussel sprouts, bell peppers, avocados, bean sprouts, green beans, snow peas, egg plants, jicama ...

Can't think of a common produce that I do not eat!

Oops. Just thought of one: tomatillos. Do not yet know what to use it for.
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This year I have been keeping the vines dusted with sevin and doing much better.









No organic farming for you eh?
There's ways around that issue ie not using sevin and it is organic.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:24 PM   #25
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And aren't you going to tell us?
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:40 PM   #26
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I was too lazy!

OK, there are several species of squash. If you grow hollow vined squashes then the squash vine borer (SVB) is a serious pest. If you grow solid vined squashes then the SVB can't get into the plant. The SVB moth (iirc it is the Sphinx moth) lays eggs at the base of the plant and the grubs bore into the vine eventually severing it from the base and killing it.

The pepo (summer squash) and maxima (winter squash) species have hollow vines. The moschata (winter squash) species have solid vines. This may not be 100% inclusive but generally this is what you need to know.

So I grow moschata only Cucurbita moschata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and within that species Waltham Butternut. I have tried Fugi (Japanese) I think it was called and Tromboncino (Italian). I prefer butternut, they produce a lot, taste great, smooth skins peel easy, 4-8 pounds each and store until March.

For zucchini and yellow squash (pepos) I start my seeds about 6/21 and don't put them out until the 4th of July because by then the SVB moth has completed it's egg laying cycle. Sometimes I cover the new transplants with floating row covers (FRC) for 7-10 days just to be safe. Now the 1 or 2 plants will live to the frost and produce 50-60 tons of fruits! BTW, 7/4 is for my location I have no idea what the SVB cycle is south or north of me. I am at 42 degrees North latitude.

Now if you want to grow maximas you have a problem. You need to keep the plant under FRC until 7/4. Because they have a long growing season, you must get them out around Memorial day or there is not enough growing season so waiting to 7/4 is not possible. For that reason the plants will be quite large by late June to 7/4 and you need a lot of FRC. These also restrict the bees you need for pollenization so in the day you must uncover the plants and replace them for the night when the moth is active. PITA! I never had any luck with maximas as the SVB always gets into them and they are dead by mid July. I never did use the techniques described to foil the SVB.

Now you can treat the plant with BT Bacillus thuringiensis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to kill the SVB caterpillars (grubs) but they must eat the Bt to die. This is done by looking at the base of the plant for sawdust where they bored into the hollow vine and injecting Bt into the vine just ahead of the grub, there is a syringe for this. Another method is taking a razor blade you slit the vine and find the cat and kill it then bury the cut part so it'll root and heal. Another method is to wrap the base of the plant with tin foil - there is a lot of vines to wrap in 1 plant! Maximas are supposedly the most flavorful winter squashes but the trouble isn't worth it to me.

So now you see why I was too lazy to type the solution. It is so much easier to grow butternut and not try to grow maximas. Plant the pepos out on 7/4 and you don't have to worry and while you lose 5 weeks they grow so fast you won't miss anything. I just picked my 1st zucchini today 8/7, seeds started 6/24, put out 7/5.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #27
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I found this recipe on Pinterest, and I think I've made it twice a week for the last 3 weeks. They are truly wonderful:

My Pinterest Reality: Baked Zucchini Rounds
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:36 PM   #28
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No organic farming for you eh?
2 butterflies.jpg019.jpg038.jpg

We held off on the sevin as long as we could this year because of the butterflies. But last week we lost about half of our remaining banana cantaloupes to worms. So the sevin came out of the shed. We had already lost enough of them to the rain. If any of you can find the seed, you will like this melon.

031.jpg

036.jpg

You can see the soft spot from the rain. We had to clip this one a little early. It had a little more green around the edge than you would want, but still very good. I have been eating some everyday, but there is only eight or ten left in the garden. I may till up another spot and plant some late ones.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:28 PM   #29
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Thanks for the info. I trust other readers will find the info useful too.

You are all more dedicated growers than I am. No wonder I have rarely had a bumper crop.

Just kidding about organic farming. I tend to bring out the chemicals at first sign of trouble. Sometimes, that works, other times it doesn't. It can be frustrating.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:43 PM   #30
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I did quite a lot of truck farming back in the late 80's and early 90's. The organic movement was just taking off then, and you would see trucks at the farmer's market with organic in the farm name. I've always had a little too much smarta$$ in me for my own good. I made up some cardboard signs and taped to the truck doors that read, 'at the Larro Ranchero our vegetables are grown with the strongest and most powerful chemicals known to man.'
It didn't seem to affect sales one way or the other.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #31
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We held off on the sevin as long as we could this year because of the butterflies. But last week we lost about half of our remaining banana cantaloupes to worms.
What are worms? Worms, earthworms that is, do not eat vegetables. If worms are caterpillars then BT would kill them safely w/o using sevin.

ETA those cats may have been butterfly cats.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:51 PM   #32
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What are worms? Worms, earthworms that is, do not eat vegetables. If worms are caterpillars then BT would kill them safely w/o using sevin.

ETA those cats may have been butterfly cats.
We had the sevin dust, and didn't have any BT. The worms in the cantaloupes were what we always called Army Worms. Not sure of their proper name, but they hurt us last year on tomatoes and peppers. Earlier in the season we had a problem with tomato worms in the peppers. But we were {and still are} making far more peppers than we can use, so we just picked them off by hand and killed them.

The banana cantaloupes are playing out, and I'm missing them before the last one is gone. I have already taken down the fence and enlarged the garden one time this year. I might have to do it again.
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