Friday, May 20, 2011

SVB, Round 3

I keep writing about squash vine borers because they won't go away, and being a somewhat newbie gardener, I wish I had someone to make me aware of them last year.  I lost all of my squash last year, and I'm fighting desparately to keep the ones I have this year.  In the past few days, I've picked probably 30-40 eggs off my squash plants.  I came home today mid afternoon during a break in appointments, and I saw her on my cucumbers.  My cucumbers did not get hit last year, so I haven't been concerned about them, even though I knew there was a possibility she may lay on them.  I've had a pretty stressful day, so seeing her just put me over the edge.  I tried to sneak up on her, but she kept flying to either side of the fence through the welded wire.  Finally she made her way over to my squash plants, and as slowly as I could, I worked my way over.  I knelt down and tried to grab her, but missed.  She travelled to the next plant, and I was able to cup her in both hands, and the rest is history.  She will lay no more eggs on my plants.  Of course, there are probably others so the fight continues.  Once she was out of the picture, I did my daily sweep of the squash plants and probably removed about 10 eggs, and then I, with a huge sigh, made my way back to my cukes.  I found eggs on my cucumber plants, probably about 6.  I have some beautiful Delikatesse cukes just forming, and I'm going to be heartbroken if I lose them. My lemon cukes haven't started blooming yet, so I found no eggs on them.  Now, I can only hope she just started laying on them today, and I haven't  underestimated her territory.

I've lost a few eggs in the mulch as I've tried to pick them off the plants, so I'm wondering if the eggs have to be on the plant when they hatch to give the borer the best opportunity to bore or can a just hatched borer travel?  I know once they decimate a plant, they can migrate to others, but do they have the power when they are first hatched to travel to find a host vine?  That's probably a hard question to answer, but if anyone has any insight, please let me know.

My back-up plan is to start a succession round of squash and cukes just in case the current ones get destroyed.




  1. Candace, I understand the frustration of taking such great pains to ensure a near perfect growing environment only to see a crop fail. Last year, I could not get a single zucchini to grow successfully. We had tons and tons of flowers, but no actual fruit grew.??? Couldn't figure out why. It was really disappointing.
    The year before that the groundhog ate all of our spaghetti squash before they had a chance to grow to full size.
    You know, Daniel has been known to be out there in the garden with a flashlight picking harmful insects / worms off of his flowering plants. That seems to be the only way to ensure they survive - so I commend you for doing it. also, I think it is a great idea to have some back ups plants just in case. Good thinking. I hope the zukes and cukes are successful!!! :)

  2. I just read at on her 7/11 post that she plants winter squash late in the season to keep the squash bugs from getting at them. You can see all her garden articles if you click on the top of her blog under completing and gardening or just scan to that date. Hope this helps. Sarah