vegatable vines - Knowledgebase Question

Kill Devil Hills, No
Question by victoriann60
April 22, 2010
EVERY TIME I PLANT ANYTHING THAT GROWS INTO A VINEW (CUCUMBERS SQUASH,PUMPKINS) THEY GROW REALLY WELL THEN WHEN THE VEG IS ALMOST READY TO PICK THE PLANT DIES FROM SOME KIND OF BUG THAT GETS INTO THE STEM OF THE PLANT AT THE BASE. I HAVE TRIED ALL KINDS OF THINGS CAN YOU HELP


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Answer from NGA
April 22, 2010

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I have fought squash bugs in my gardens and here is what works for me. First, squash the bugs and their eggs. I tried going out every three days or so and squashing the bugs I found along with any of their eggs. Their amber-colored eggs are laid in clusters underneath the leaves, usually in the protected area between two leaf veins. If you are squeemish about squashing them, carry a container of alcohol and drop them into that. If you will set a board under the plants near the stem, you will find they like to congregate beneath it during the day. This makes them "sitting ducks"! A piece of aluminum foil laid around the stem like a mulch will also harbor them. Second, I spray occasionally with a pyrethrin/rotenone product. This is an organic option with good "knock down power" on the bugs.

At the end of the growing season, clean up all plant debris, including mulch, to remove overwintering insects. Or, you can cover young plants and newly seeded beds with fabric row cover, securing the edges well with soil or with a 2x4. The fabric will keep out cucumber beetles and adult squash vine borers. As soon as the plants start to blossom, you either need to remove the fabric so insects can pollinate the flowers, or you can pollinate them by hand. At any rate, your vines will have gotten off to a strong start, and even if squash bugs do attack, they'll have less impact on the larger plants.

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