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First Timer

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First Timer

Post  H_TX on 5/31/2011, 4:08 pm

This is my real first attempt at gardening. My other attempts taught me that dirt in the back yard + water + seed or small plant almost never result in a garden. I have 2 4x4 beds that I built and filled almost 6 weeks ago. I now have tomato plants as tall as I am and all of my other plants are doing well. There is one exception. I guess I was naive to think that having a new garden and not having any neighbors that garden would help to keep pests away. I already lost a zucchini plant to SVB. I tried saving the other squash and zucchini by slicing the stem and removing the grub and they are looking fine for now.

Maybe is is due to the success I am seeing in my garden but I am now hooked. I have so many plans for next year and so many ideas to try out. I am hoping that by being in Houston and having a longer growing season I will be able to learn a lot in my first year.

H_TX

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Re: First Timer

Post  pattipan on 5/31/2011, 4:22 pm

glad you\'re here

Welcome to the SFG forum, H_TX! You'll find lots of folks here addicted to SFG'ing just like you already are (I recognize the symptoms). You're among kindred spirits here. And it sounds like you are off to a great start too!

I feel your pain when it comes to that evil Squash Vine Borer. I had quite a battle with them last summer, lost a couple of vines, but in the end I won! Be sure to do a forum search on the nasty bug and you'll see we are not alone in the battle. There is even one crazy lady who injected her squash vines with liquid Bt to conquer the nasty borer! Hmmmm...I wonder who that could be?

Look forward to seeing you around the forum!
pattipan

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Re: First Timer

Post  marc-in-pa on 5/31/2011, 4:35 pm

Welcome aboard! I had a major problem with SVB last year, which was my first year veggie gardening. Wiped out all of my squash and zucchini. Funny that I just posted today my plan of attack for year 2 on another thread:

1. Put out yellow trays of water. They are attracted to yellow and get trapped. This is more to alert me to their presence than anything else. In my Zone, the borers become active in late June.

2. Look for eggs laid on the underside of leaves and on the stems. Wipe them off with a damp cloth.

3. Use an organic insectide. Lowes promotes a product called Nutria which says it protects against Borers and also Powdery Mildew. You could use Sevin or something similar of you aren't organically oriented

4. Wrap the stems with either shade cloth or tin foil when the adult borers are active.

5. Stand vigil with a tennis racquet and a wide-dispersing water pistol filled with insecticide.

6. Another effective method I've read is to use floating row covers to physically block their entry. However, you have to allow the bees in to do their thing, unless you self pollinate. Another factor is if you had SVBs last year they may emerge from within your garden soil underneath your protective cover. What a horrible thought! Seems like a lot of work with this tactic but if the above methods fail this year, I might go the row-cover route next year.

Hope that helps. I'm sure there are other approaches but that's what I've found to date. Impressive that you were able to save some plants by doing grub surgery. Nice job!
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first Timer

Post  H_TX on 5/31/2011, 4:45 pm

Thanks marc-in-pa,
I have even considered making a sifter with wire that has holes about 1" by 1" to try and sift out any SVB cocoons that might be in my soil. Maybe that is another benefit to the SFG or maybe that just means I have a screw lose. I am hoping that I did take care and saved the other plants but only time will tell. I purchased some BT in powder form and put it on as soon as I got home from the store.

H_TX

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Re: First Timer

Post  pattipan on 5/31/2011, 5:06 pm

Here's that thread where that about that crazy lady talked about injecting the squash vines with liquid Bt. What a Face

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3339-waging-war-against-the-squash-vine-borer

I have seen those cocoons! Last summer, I didn't know what they were, but found out soon enough. This spring we replaced the dirt in all the squash boxes -- just in case. It's almost SVB time again in WV. I'm now picturing myself out there swingin' a tennis racket. However, I think I might cover the webbing with plywood first. Smile

One other thing I am trying this year is resistant varieties. I planted butternut and spaghetti winter squashes, both are immune to SVB. I am also trying the heirloom Lemon Squash, which is also immune. I still have my zucchini and yellow squash to watch over, I'll let ya know how it goes.

pattipan
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Re: First Timer

Post  shannon1 on 6/9/2011, 12:55 am

@marc-in-pa wrote:Welcome aboard! I had a major problem with SVB last year, which was my first year veggie gardening. Wiped out all of my squash and zucchini. Funny that I just posted today my plan of attack for year 2 on another thread:

1. Put out yellow trays of water. They are attracted to yellow and get trapped. This is more to alert me to their presence than anything else. In my Zone, the borers become active in late June.

2. Look for eggs laid on the underside of leaves and on the stems. Wipe them off with a damp cloth.

3. Use an organic insectide. Lowes promotes a product called Nutria which says it protects against Borers and also Powdery Mildew. You could use Sevin or something similar of you aren't organically oriented

4. Wrap the stems with either shade cloth or tin foil when the adult borers are active.

5. Stand vigil with a tennis racquet and a wide-dispersing water pistol filled with insecticide.

6. Another effective method I've read is to use floating row covers to physically block their entry. However, you have to allow the bees in to do their thing, unless you self pollinate. Another factor is if you had SVBs last year they may emerge from within your garden soil underneath your protective cover. What a horrible thought! Seems like a lot of work with this tactic but if the above methods fail this year, I might go the row-cover route next year.

Hope that helps. I'm sure there are other approaches but that's what I've found to date. Impressive that you were able to save some plants by doing grub surgery. Nice job!
I like #5 Twisted Evil
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Re: First Timer

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