SVB - Mess.

jkduke22July 9, 2014

Hi all,

So I got hit with SVB in my acorn squash about a week or so ago. Thought I caught them relatively early, cut them out of the plants and the plants seemed to do OK for a few days. However, in the last day or so they have all just started dying, I guess maybe there were more worms in them that I didn't kill b/c I pulled one up yesterday that had a live worm in it and I KNOW I had killed one in that plant already last week.

This morning several of my zucchini plants are starting to get yellow leaves and seem to also have been hit.

I know that the acorn squash don't have time for a replant, so I'm just crossing my fingers that they make it long enough for the squash on them to ripen up.

For the zucchini and yellow squash, should I try to remove the worms and hope the plants recover? Should I just pull them up and start new ones? Should I cut them and start new ones?

Thanks for the help!

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I hate vine borers. Last year my acorn squash was all hit as well, and it ripened before the plants died - for me, anything small like acorn squash or small pumpkins will generally ripen before the plant completely dies.

I succession plant zucchini and cukes every 2-3 weeks so when something gets too diseased or bug ridden I just pull it. I haven't had much luck with cutting the larvae out or injecting the vines with BT, but I know that some others on this forum have.

I grow a lot of butternut squash because the vines are tough and it's hard for the borers to get in. I still have all my winter squash under cover this year, but have to pull the Agribon off soon for pollination. I hand pollinated cucumbers and zucchini for a while but the plants got too big and I just couldn't keep up with it. I thought about hand pollinating winter squash but don't have the time.

I read somewhere in this forum about a variety of zucchini that's in the same family as butternut squash, and has a tough vine that vine borers can't easily penetrate. I'm thinking about trying that next year because I have a lot of trouble growing zucchini.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:02PM
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planterjeff(7b Grant Park Atlanta)

So I just had them hit my zucchini hard. I suggest fighting the good fight! I had one plant that had the entire stem chewed down to about 3/4 of its original size. It was literally hanging on by a few single strands! I used my finger to clear out as much of the goo as I could and then sprayed the entire wound with a strong mix of BT. After I let the BT sit and work all morning i used my hose to really clean the wound well. Once the wound was clear and only green tissue was left, I applied a big mound of compost/soil mixture around the base covering the problem area by at least 6 inches. Basically a cone of dirt around the stem. I then applied a compost tea and watered twice a day for a week or so. I followed up with BT spraying/injections around various sections of the stem during the following two nights and mornings and placed TP rolls around exposed stem areas. After a few days, the plant was back to its original vigor! So, yes you can save them!! Just add the BT to your regime. This kills the worms. Also, if you let your squash run along the ground, bury various nodes under the soil because they will develop separate root systems. This makes it so the plant will live even if a svb severs the vine in between the buried sections. The wounds will also grow new roots so keep them buried and watered well until they establish the new roots. Good luck

This post was edited by PlanterJeff on Wed, Jul 9, 14 at 13:25

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:15PM
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Thanks for the advice! I think I will try the BT and burying the stems more....the plants truly are out of control and are vining several feet on the ground instead of standing upright as I thought they were suppose to do. So, I think they will be good candidates to getting more roots going in the way you described.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:24PM
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