Sunday, June 3, 2012

They've Got My Number

The SVB's that is.  They're back.  They've got my number again this year...sigh.

I'd hoped that my twice a day inspection and picking of the leaves with the SVB eggs on them would deter the little bastards.

No such luck.

Most of my summer squashes appear to be affected.  The patty pans are the worst. 

This is disappointing on so many levels.  I've staggered the plantings and I'm managing to get some yellow straight and crookneck to harvest but it's just a matter of time before they die.  Again.  Just like last year.

SM loves patty pans.  But patty pans take such a long time to grow, I fear they're doomed before they come to size.  I pulled the worst of the plants today but kept a couple in ground in the hopes that I might still get a small harvest off of them before they too crash and burn.

And it's not just the summer squash.  We love winter squashes and pumpkins.  I was planning a winter squash explosion this year.  I'd bought tons of seed and when the green beans were done producing (July maybe?) I'd planned on planting the mother load of winter squashes and pumpkins in the back garden area. 

I wonder if I should even bother?  All that effort and seed and garden space...Gosh Darn It! 

Would skipping a season help?  How can I break the cycle?

Is there any advice out there with successful organic SVB control? 

Or do I need to just suck it up and apply a commercial pesticide for control?


  1. That's just awful. I just hate those SVB's!!! A couple of years ago, I didn't get one darn squash!

    There are some squash that are supposed to be SVB resistant. They are C Moschata. Butternut and I believe Long Island Cheese squash are among them. You'll have to look it up.

    Good Luck!

  2. Oh Tami, I'm so sorry! If rotation of the growing area, and planting SVB resistant doesn't work, I don't know what to tell you. I wish you the best of luck---this is gonna be a heck of a puzzle to solve.

  3. I too have SVBs this year, and I tried surgery to remove the little buggers. =/ So far only one is acting like it's too late but the others might survive. I used a really sharp knife to cut into the stem and fish out the worms. They promptly got skished between my rubber gloved fingers. They stink too! Eww. You might try it, since you are catching it early by checking them constantly. Good luck!

  4. I'd do what Emma suggested - cut the stem and clean it out from bugs. plant will heal and you should have more squash on it.

  5. Waltham butternut is one variety that is resistant. If you do have to resort to using a commercial pesticide, try rotenone, a plant based pesticide that used to be (but not at this time) rated organic. It's probably a bit safer than some. *Spray the vines when they are 1 foot long, then spray the base and vine once a week for a month (*from Crockett's Victory Garden by James Underwood Crockett.)

  6. Thanks all!

    I just went out and did some surgery. I managed to pull a couple of worms, some were so inbeded that they were tough to get to. I scraped around and sliced and diced a few.

    I do have Waltham Butternut...They were they only thing that survived last years attack. I've got a month to figure it out. Lets see if anything survives today's surgery.

  7. lkolada@snet.netJune 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Tami, I did this last year and it helped a lot. Istarted my summer squah under floating row covers. When they were big enough I wrapped aluminum foil completely around the root at ground level up to all most 10 inches using the heavy duty foil. That helped for quite some time. The root at ground level was almost 2 inches across and slowed their attack. I tried the surgery, and probably would now mix bt and use a suringe to inject it above and below the frass area. Well thats my plan this year. In Connecticut I have some squash already growing,do to an early start, and may keep the row covers on for a while and hand pollinate to exclude the critters, though they usually aren't here for another 4 or more weeks good Luck..


  8. Oh no! Be damned, evil SVB!!
    What else can I say except that, well, really sucks. Wish I could help you, we've only had them one year and it wasn't that bad.

  9. I had to look up SVBs, that really stinks. This kind of looks like what happened to ours last year and I blamed our puppy for gnawing on the stems. This year I am doing them in a new bed and they seem to be fine so far. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

  10. Oh no!! That is the BIG pits. Dang!!! What the heck is going on?!!!! I am sorry that this has happened it is most certainly frustrating!!!!Geeze.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

  11. So sorry to hear about your SVB's. They are a yearly visitor to my garden. I have started to stagger my plantings. When one goes in the garden I start another from seed and keep it covered. When the first succumbs I pull it and plant the next one (and start to other one). We do have a break in squash production, something my family is actually thankful for. I am also in the piedmont and I can get 4-5 plants going this way.