can ants pollinate my squash?

emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)September 5, 2009

So I was more or less expecting the SVB in this, my first real garden, so I was saddened but not surprised to lose my pattypans and bush delicata. Conclusion: butternuts and trombocino next year it is.

But this dastardly pickleworm caught me by surprise and took out about half of my spaghetti squashes (the ones I decided to leave until the vines died. The others I harvested, perhaps prematurely, when they went yellow and undentable, but I guess that saved them.)

So my question is, to protect next year's crops and perhaps still be able to grow SVB-susceptible varieties, can I grow them under cover and depend on the ants, of which there were very many crawling in my squash blssoms this year, to do the pollinating?

(I don't want to plan on hand-pollinating, as I would probably drop the ball on that one)

Thoughts?

Thanks!

~Emily

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justaguy2(5)

no, you can't rely upon ants for pollination. They may occasionally do the job, but ants really aren't pollinators. They just eat the stuff for themselves and then go home, not flower to flower.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 11:34PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Even if the ants did go from flower to flower, pollinating female far away would be like travelling from LA to NY(flying).
So I wouln't count on ants.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 8:06PM
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tedposey

If you can catch it soon enough you can rescue your squash vines from the SVB. Using a sharp knife, split the vine longitudinally on one side until you find the larva (Worm) and kill it. Heap some soil over the vine at that point and just beyond and water. It will take new roots at that point and continue growing.
Of course you can prevent infestation too by spraying with strong pesticides, but some consider this horrible.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 11:20AM
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