So I really, really like summer squash, any variety. Unfortunately I only get to harvest for a week or two before the annual SVB plague destroys my plants. Are there any varieties with a built-in resistance to the nasty bugs?
No but i have another solution for you. I dont know your zone but here the svb do not lay eggs after the first week in june, so if i plant summer squash from seeds june first i dont have the problem. Check with your county extension office and they will let you know the info for your area. in other words plant the squash a little later
In my part of "Tejas" the SVB is a problem during all of the squash-growing season.
How much room do you have, melonhedd? You could give Zuchetta Rampicante/Trombocino a try. At its mature stage it's used like a butternut but can be harvested young as a summer squash. Being a C. moschata makes it theoretically less vulnerable to SVB than C. pepo squash (I say theoretically because I've had borers do a number on my butternuts, too). The vines grow long, which is why I haven't tried it in my little garden. I may try trimming the vines to keep it tidy.
Here is a link that might be useful: Tromboncino
Agree with flip, a C moschata like Trombocino is your best bet. Another option is the Cucuzzi, an edible gourd used like a zucchini.
Here is a link that might be useful: cucuzzi
thanks, folks! Like fliptx, I am cursed from May to August by the devilish SVB. I have plenty of room and will try both trombocino and cucuzzi this year. I'm open for other suggested varieties, also.....
Well, if you can't find a resistant variety that suits your taste, here's one recommendation for dealing with SVBs:
And below is a humorous GW post about an "experiment" conducted under the theory that fire ants kill SVBs, and it rambles on into sunflowers as a trap crop for fire ants and squash BUGS. Now I haven't had any SVBs on my squash but I certainly have fire ants in my garden.
Here is a link that might be useful: Sophisticated Squash vine borer experiment
You also can grow any butternut, which are C. moschata and thus resistant, and eat it as a summer OR winter squash. When picked young and tender, butternuts resemble kuta or light green zucchini in flavor and texture. Plus, when you handle butternuts this way, you can take all the summer squash you want, and the left-behinds can ripen into keepers.
Here is a link that might be useful: my website
Arikara (Sand hill preservation center carries it) is said to be tolerant of SVB.
Floating row cover will protect plants from borer. Remove it after they start blooming ince by then the borer butterfly has moved on to greener pastures. Although you say you get vine boreri into August, chances are the eggs were laid in July or earlier.
Just for kicks! What can you use to kill them? What can you put in the soil before you plant that will keep them out? In other words what poison to use?
1eyedJack and the Dawg
They can be controlled with contact insecticides. Talk to your extension agent. The eggs are laid by a highly mobile flying moth so You have to time the application, when the moth is laying eggs. If you use insecticide, IPM techiques are necessary.
I was diligent with row covers, but somehow the little buger got in anyway. I thought I had it pretty well sealed up all the way around but went out one day last
week and there she was flying around inside trying to get
out of the row cover.
I killed her with a healthy spray of Safer Insect killer, since I do organic gardening. I'm spraying the plant with it to kill the little worm when it hatches.
I haven't given up yet. It's warfare since I have lost
every crop of zucs in the last 10 years.
I wish you all good luck!
My tromboncino and cucuzzi do NOT get SVB damage EVER. But my bush-type squashes do, so I cover them with remay fabric during July, and also re-plant them to get a second late crop. This year I was a LITTLE late getting the squash covered and had to remove some eggs. Hope I got them all, but you know how that goes. And whoever said that you can remove the covers when the plants start blooming is DREAMING. I see that moth all throughout the month of July, when there is plenty of blooming going on. The moth is not a stupid critter. It arrives in each zone just as the plants are getting big and bad and easy for it to find.
I'm in my second season growing out Dolma Kabak (Light green Zuchinni from Turkey). This is a c. pepo summer squash but it vines out quite a bit and roots all along the vine. I had a hill of this squash produce all last summer, and even though the borers hit its base, it never slowed down. We had summer squash till frost. I do believe it is less attractive to borers than some others, just like Scarchuks Supreme, which is an acorn squash (also c. pepo).
This year I ventured to plant a hill of Hubbard squash and it was promptly destroyed by borers, as soon as it began to flower. But I have a Dolma Kabak summer squash, only about 30' away which has yet to be harmed. I know this is anecdotal. But I strongly suspect this squash has something about it which makes it more resistant than most.
Regina, the Arikara, if I recall is only resistant because it produces so quickly. It's a c. maxima, like a Hubbard. I have no experience with it. But I would be very cautious about trusting it to making a dependable crop in SVB territory.
tell us a bit more about Cucuzzi. Does it really taste like a summer squash? I bet it makes a large vine. It does sound like a good option.
I grow a c. moschata called Warsaw Buff Pie Pumpkin, which is quite resistant to borers. It's very similar to a butternut. But frankly I'm not fond of butternuts as summer squash. Some people are fine with them. But for me, there's a different texture which I don't care for. That's the only reason I personally steer away from Trombocino.