Monday, August 6, 2012

Resistance Is Futile

Sunday morning finds SM and I taking a walk through the garden.  Everything is suffering.  Still no rain.

I'm watering the pumpkin patch and we're talking SVB's. 

"What do these SVB's things look like?" He asks.

"Well, you won't see them but you'll see the eggs.  Little dots on the leaves in a geometric pattern."

"Have you seen any yet?"  SM asks.

"Not yet.  But the last time I looked was a few days ago."  I replied.

"Is this it?"  SM points at one of the squash plants.  I lean over and look where he's pointing. 




"Crap!!  There they are."  I had really hoped that by planting the winter squash and pumpkins late that I might avoid the life cycle of the nasty little buggers but we're too warm.  We have too long of a season so we get multiple generations. 

"What are you going to do now?"  SM asks.

I sigh.  "Well, I haven't tried the tinfoil technique yet." 

Rumor has it that some gardeners can keep the plant alive by wrapping several inches of the stem above the root line which prevents the larvae from starting to munch away on the plant, killing it. 

Personally, I'm skeptical.  Nowhere looking online do I find any comments or articles that this technique actually worksBut I'm desperate to try anything so I grabbed the tinfoil and headed back outside.

First, I pushed back the dirt from roots and pinched off the lower leaves.




Then I gently but firmly wrapped the foil around several inches of the vine and then pushed some of the dirt back up and over the foil.



I'd also read about a "foil mulch" on some of the sites I'd researched so I loosely laid down a piece of foil where the vine touched the dirt.

I eyeballed for eggs as I went along and found a few that I scraped off with the edge of the scissors.  I then wiped them on a piece a foil and threw them in the trash.




Dag-nabitt!!!!  What else can you do?  Freakin SVB's are like just like The Borg.  "Resistance is futile."  (*Just a small Trekkie joke there for all you SciFi fans out there.)

So just what do the pumpkin farmers use?  There's a farm a few miles down the road and he always grows a few fields of pumpkins for October sales.  You know he's using pesticides because his crop doesn't fail.  Is this the only solution?

The utter irony here is that I planted several different varieties of winter squashes including Waltham Butternuts.  Guess which one didn't germinate?  Yep.  The Butternuts.  The only squash the SVB's don't like.

Next year, no pumpkins and ONLY Butternut varieties.  Life is too short for this aggrivation.  And that's OK.  It will leave me more room to try sweet potatoes. 

2013?  The year of the Sweet Potato.  Sounds good to me!

8 comments:

  1. I guess I'm lucky we don't have those up here. Of course, I pay for it with first frosts in 3 more weeks. Ugh.

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  2. Well, shoot! Here's hoping the tin foil trick works. It was worth the try even if it doesn't.

    Two of my slicing cucumber plants withered and died. The other three seem fine. All planted right together. Can't figure out what happened to the two that croaked. Sigh.

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  3. Hey we both had posts about SVB today! Just my opinion, but those sure look like Squash Bug eggs. Squash Vine Borer almost always lay eggs on the stem of the plant, not the leaves. Different bug but both will kill the plant. And the thing to remember about butternut while it may be "resistant" to SVB, meaning that they do not prefer it, but will still attack and kill it if it is the only thing available or you have an infestation. It is not SVB immune. I have a butternut that has both SVB and Squash bugs on it now. Hope you have your problem under control now.

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  4. Thanks for the heads up Jane! It always seems that I find the frass and the worm so I assumed it was the SVB. I'm a novice at all this so it wouldn't suprise me that I've got BOTH the bug AND the borer.

    Why does everything around here like squash?

    It IS the South. Maybe I should just plant peanuts, and sweet potatoes and call it a happy day:)

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  5. Well, hey! I hope the tin foil works! It helps with keeping the aliens away from your brains, right...so it's gotta help with the blasted SVBs. :)

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  6. I am with Jane. Those are squash bug eggs. Unfortunately this means you have both, pretty much par for the course in my garden:(.

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  7. Sorry you're losing your squash. We don't get SVBs here. About the only thing that does get the squash is powdery mildew. Keep trying...at some point you'll find something that works for you.

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  8. I'm back online and trying to get caught up! I haven't had much luck with squashes either. Nor pumpkins. I tried a new variety of pumpkin this year. Of 18 seeds planted only one came up. I'm late anyway so we'll see!

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