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SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

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SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  yolos on 1/3/2016, 6:58 pm

I have a fight every year with Squash Vine Borers (SVB) and Pickleworm attacking my squash. Unless I use row covers, I always loose.   I have researched this problem and found the following.

The most resistant types of squash to SVB are Butternut, Acorn, and Cashaw Squash.  They are also the most resistant to pickle worm if planted in April so they have time to toughen up their skins before the pickle worms arrive sometime in July. 

I know I want to grow Tromboncino because it is also resistant to SVB and is a summer squash.  But I have never grown a winter squash and I need help.  What are your recommendations for Butternut, Acorn and Cashaw varieties in terms of productivity and taste??  I will be growing them up a trellis and they will be planted in Whiskey size containers.
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  meatburner on 1/3/2016, 10:42 pm

Sounds like row covers are the best way to go.
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  yolos on 1/3/2016, 11:45 pm

@meatburner wrote:Sounds like row covers are the best way to go.
Your are right, I did that for about 3 years but now I am trying to grow something that is not so needy.
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  sanderson on 1/4/2016, 3:10 am

Canada Crookneck winter squash - "reportedly originated among the Iroquois Indians . . . ancestor of today's Butternut."  I loved it in 2014.  The neck is all flesh.  Baker Creek seeds

I baked pieces, then froze. Nice and sweet.

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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  littlesapphire on 1/4/2016, 10:57 am

I haven't grown winter squash successfully, but I have grown trobocino.  And from what I understand, the way you grow them is the same way you grow winter squash.  Give them 1-2 squares with space to grow up, lots of compost (they're heavy feeders), and watch them go! 

I've been successful with SVB by covering my zucchinis with tule in the spring and uncovering them once they flower.  But we live in pretty different areas, and I think you would have more trouble with bugs than I do.  That's one good thing about living in the great white north Smile (Ok, so I don't live in Canada, but it's just across Lake Erie from me).
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/4/2016, 6:53 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:

I've been successful with SVB by covering my zucchinis with tule in the spring and uncovering them once they flower.  But we live in pretty different areas, and I think you would have more trouble with bugs than I do.  That's one good thing about living in the great white north Smile (Ok, so I don't live in Canada, but it's just across Lake Erie from me).
Me too!

I was DEVASTATED by squash vine borers for years using a traditional garden. Problem number 1: I didn't know what was wrong until about year 4 when I got zero squash. Again! What? Plants just flourished, bloomed, deflated, fell over and died. Hindsight. Got online, and voila (in a bad way) Evil or Very Mad

Problem #2 I kept using the same plot of ground for the squash. The larvae live in the ground, and tulle only keeps the flies off, not the boring little evil things from invadin your vine stems.

Solution for me: Relocating the entire operation. Get away from the little boring larvae. Cover if need be, be watchful for the flying dragons that lay the eggs. Watch the base of your squash plants. Have heard success spearing the little darlings with needles if you transilluminate and see them inside the stem...ne experience with that, would be fun spearing them, though.

My advice, relocate, sterilize the MM HARD. Kill those buggers. And go for it, be vigilant.
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  littlesapphire on 1/7/2016, 8:30 pm

I got a cool tip from one of my many gardening books about SVB I just remembered.  In case your plants become infested with SVB, it suggests going out to the garden at right with a flashlight and shining it through the stems of your plants from behind.  That way, you can see if the plants have the evil worms in them.  If they do, it said to poke them with needles a few times (gross, right?).  Do that a couple of times until you stop seeing new frass. 

Of course, that doesn't help prevent SVB.
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/7/2016, 8:39 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:I got a cool tip from one of my many gardening books about SVB I just remembered.  In case your plants become infested with SVB, it suggests going out to the garden at right with a flashlight and shining it through the stems of your plants from behind.  That way, you can see if the plants have the evil worms in them.  If they do, it said to poke them with needles a few times (gross, right?).  Do that a couple of times until you stop seeing new frass. 

Of course, that doesn't help prevent SVB.

Yeah, that is transilluminating the stems! Lights it up, and the wormy things make shadows. Supposed to stick sewing needles through them where they are, leave the needles til next day. Pull needles, dress plant wounds with a bit of water, wrap trunk with foil tight. I don't know....sounds worth a try with those horrible pests....
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  littlesapphire on 1/7/2016, 8:53 pm

I figure it's gotta be less damaging than doing surgery to the plants, which is what I usually do.  Make a slit in the stem from the opening up until you find the little beast, pull it out, and then cover with some compost and hope for the best. 

I have no idea what a pickle worm is.  Is it a more southern pest?
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/7/2016, 9:19 pm

We don't have them, LS. Pickle worms...never seen one.





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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/7/2016, 9:22 pm

Curious...did the whole surgical worm extraction thing work?
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  littlesapphire on 1/8/2016, 7:49 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Curious...did the whole surgical worm extraction thing work?
It usually does work, but I'm always afraid it's going to kill the plant or allow in disease.  Also, it's so painful to cut open my lovely plants Sad
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  yolos on 1/8/2016, 8:57 pm

If you are interested, here is a good description of the pickleworm.

https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W206.pdf
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/8/2016, 9:31 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Curious...did the whole surgical worm extraction thing work?
It usually does work, but I'm always afraid it's going to kill the plant or allow in disease.  Also, it's so painful to cut open my lovely plants Sad

I honestly didn't know what was happening to my plants for years. They did great, transplanted well, grew, flowered and then slumped over, never set fruit...it was very confusing. Never had this prob at the previous house less than 60 miles.

Googled the symptoms...jeesh. Hindsight. Tried one more year with foil around the stems...Epic Fail. SFG HERE I COME,!





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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  yolos on 1/8/2016, 9:57 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
@littlesapphire wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Curious...did the whole surgical worm extraction thing work?
It usually does work, but I'm always afraid it's going to kill the plant or allow in disease.  Also, it's so painful to cut open my lovely plants Sad

I honestly didn't know what was happening to my plants for years.  They did great, transplanted well, grew, flowered and then slumped over, never set fruit...it was very confusing.  Never had this prob at the previous house less than 60 miles.

Googled the symptoms...jeesh.  Hindsight.  Tried one more year with foil around the stems...Epic Fail.  SFG HERE I COME,!





SFG won't help stop either of these pests.  The only way to really stop them is row cover or tulle over the beds.  Then you have to worry about pollination.
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/8/2016, 10:13 pm

I thought the little borers were in the ground?
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  littlesapphire on 1/9/2016, 4:26 pm

From what I understand, the borers stay in the plant debris during winter (that's why you always clean up your garden in fall).  Then in spring, it turns into a moth, that goes and lays eggs on the base of the plant.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  But I've been planting my squash in nearly the same area for many years, and covering it with tulle in the spring works wonders to keep them free from SVB.  'Course, I turn over my mix in the fall and spring, which might bring the wormies to the surface and they then get eaten by birds.  Foil does help a little, but you have to be pretty quick about putting it on.  Tulle works the best, in my opinion.  Or you can just do surgery later on.

Ick, pickleworm seems like a terrible pest to have Sad  Like SVB only worse because it can also eat the fruit of the plant.  I'm glad I don't have that (as far as I know!).
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/9/2016, 6:26 pm

@yolos wrote:If you are interested, here is a good description of the pickleworm.

https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W206.pdf

Oh wow!  Yuck!  Durn those buggers!

Julie, you are right! Those red and black fly things lay eggs I guess....so you just do really good fall hygiene and cover from the flying things?


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 1/9/2016, 6:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added the tulle cover question)
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  littlesapphire on 1/9/2016, 9:14 pm

That seems to work the best for me.  Anyone else have any thoughts on it?
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Re: SVB and Pickleworm Resistant Squash

Post  has55 on 1/10/2016, 1:50 am

@littlesapphire wrote:That seems to work the best for me.  Anyone else have any thoughts on it?

I have avoided squash because of the dreaded squash bug here in texas.I don't seem to have a problem with the SVB. I can pick the eggs off and use heavy mineral oil in a spray bottle for the mature adult. The oil stops the adult male in it tracks, litearally. It will stop in whatever position it died in. It's weird to see. I got tired of searching for the eggs and bugs when the plant gets large, so this year I'm going to try raising my own nematodes. I haven't been able to fit it in my schedule all year. I was impressed from the video by living farm showing good pest control, stopping the larvae stage in the soil.
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