This is a common problem with squash. The culprit is almost always the squash vine borer. The moth eggs over winter in the soil and come out of the ground to bore a hole in the stem of the plant and begin eating. Gardeners who regularly scout their plantings can slit the stem at the entry hole and remove the larva. You can also inject the stem with BT, which will kill the larva. Covering the damaged area with a shovelful of moist soil encourages healing and new root development at the site. In fact, some gardeners routinely place a shovelful of soil at one or more locations along the stems to encourage supplementary root development and increase the plantâ€™s ability to overcome borer attack. This year I wrapped aluminum foil around the stem and put some dirt against them. I still lost two plants out of eight this year.
Pull up all your dead plants and everything you have left at the end of the season. Place them in the compost pile to prevent infecting the soil with more eggs.
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