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 Post subject: squash plant problem
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:16 am 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2003 8:25 am
Posts: 19
Location: Salisbury,MARYLAND
Can someone tell me what those little brown eggs are under my squash plant leaves.
They are about the size of poppy seeds, Brown and shinny.
Should I use garlic pepper spray when there are flowers on the plants? :(


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:37 am 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 4:33 pm
Posts: 526
Location: parker county, texas
Sounds like squash bug eggs to me- get rid of them by removing and smashing. If you don't they will grow up to be big squash bugs and will take over the squash plants. Also, look for the adults and kill them also. They are dark colored and look like elongated stink bugs.


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 Post subject: squash plant problem
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
I don't have squash beetles (this year), I have something that seems to suddenly turn the stem to spongy pulp. The leaves immediately die. A couple of weeks ago I heard Howard speak about some worm that gets into the stem--is this what is happening? I see no critters, but there is a spot where the pulpy contents "leaked" out and dried on the stem. The entry point, perhaps?

They go really fast when they die--healthy in the morning, wilted and obviously flat line by evening.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:12 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Garland
sounds like squash vine borer to me. I posted this reply to someone else a few weeks ago, maybe it will help


To prevent the vine borer from laying eggs, many people recommend using a floating row cover. The moth that infests the plants finds them by brushing up against the spines on the stalks of the plant, the theory is if they are covered, they won't be as easy to detect. I have never tried it, but lots of people seem to think it works.
Some say that a late planting of squash will avert infestation, this has never worked for me. I have gardened in San Antonio and Dallas and I cannot seem to pinpoint the lifecycle of the borer well enough to completely miss either generation. Perhaps there is not as much of a distinction between the spring and late summer generatios as there are in some other parts of the country...


There are two basic approaches to fixing a borer problem that I have found to be effective. The first is to inject a Bt "liquid worm killer" (the one I use is made by greenlight) with a large hypodermic needle. The vascular system of the plant will only carry it so far, however, so you have to kind of estimate how far the worm has penetrated, and try squirting it in both directions from the point of entry. Along the same lines, I have used Dipel dust (a Bt product also made by greenlight) and sprinkled it on the base of the plant every few days.

Procedure #2 is a little more involved, but I chose to use this method today on about fifteen of my summer squash plants. Using a box cutter or sharp knife, slit the base of the stem vertically (not against the "grain" of the vascular system, or it won't heal and will just kill the plant) and digging the little boogers out manually. Crude but effective. You should then bury the wounded part of the plant under a mound of moist earth to promote healing and root growth. It works more often than not...

Sorry this was so long but the struggle against the squash vine borer has been a multigenerational conflict of epic proportions in my family

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"A righteous person who is wise resembles God: he never disciplines anyone in order to take vengeance upon a wrongdoing, but only so that the person may be set aright, or that others may be deterred."
-St Isaac of Syria


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
Thanks! I'll go out this morning to see if any of my patients are still living, and try a little surgery.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 5:33 pm 
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First time I tried digging around in the stems all I found was the chewed up insides. But this afternoon the conditions must have been right--I found several lively, overfed white caterpillers and evicted them. A couple of the plants may make it. I made a point of applying some TLC to the garden today (various organic boosters and fertilizers). As I learn how to do this organically, it will be nice to get ahead of the pests and not just respond to crises!


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