All Things Gardening forum: Weird winter squash growth....help!

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Name: Crista Abel
Gilbert, Arizona
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Purslane Region: Southwest Gardening
Vegetable Grower
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Crista
Aug 4, 2010 7:53 PM CST
So I planted winter squash and didn't realize that they take up waaay more space than summer squash. Got trellis, all was perking along with the vines growing up the trellises. The past few weeks, though, the leaves started looking pale - chlorosis - so I gave them some liquid iron and fish emulsion. Now about half the vines now look awesome and the other half never greened back up and have started to wither and die. I traced back the vines and have found that both living and withering vines are coming off the same plant! And I saw a bug that is gray and about a half inch long. Is that a squash vine borer?

What can I do?? The squash on the withering vines are starting to wither themselves even though they seem nearly ripe.

Crista
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 5, 2010 9:01 PM CST
Hi Crista -- I've been fortunate to never have a problem with squash borers myself, but yes, that does sound like what you are dealing with. If it's not too late for the part of your plant that is dying, you can try burying the stem at several of the leaf joints in the dirt and it will grow new roots there. I suspect the squash are shriveling because they aren't getting any source of hydration through the stems that are withering.

Here's a link to an article on the University of Minnesota Extension website with a lot of good information about these troublesome pests -- I hope you have success in controlling them!

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1209...
Name: Crista Abel
Gilbert, Arizona
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Purslane Region: Southwest Gardening
Vegetable Grower
Image
Crista
Aug 5, 2010 10:25 PM CST
Thanks so much! I found some pictures of the squash borer, but look so much like wasps (of which we have many!) I don't know really recognize them. They sure didn't look like what I expected! The web link is interesting!
Crista
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Aug 6, 2010 5:42 AM CST
You're very welcome -- we have a lot of wasps too, my policy is to not try to get close enough to make a positive ID on those guys. The squash borer adults certainly do look a lot like wasps, even though they're actually moths -- something I never knew before.
Smiling

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