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Old March 20, 2012   #16
O.P. Mater
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Scott,

Other than removing some weeds and checking the plants, the cover stayed on the squash & zucchini plants until they began to bloom. They were in a small hoop house (maybe 5X10?) that we built using 10' sections of pvc pipe.

As soon as the plants popped through the ground, there were cucumber beetles walking around on the cover. Then, the squash bugs arrived and joined the cucumber beetles. Some managed to get in and lay eggs before I removed the cover for the honeybees. The SVB didn't bother them until I took the cover off.

Mason bees might work in an enclosed area and fertilize the plants without raising the cover. I think I could have managed the squash bugs, but the borer always gets to the squash just as they begin to bear. I will wrap the stems with aluminum foil and with stockings and hope for a good crop. What will the neighbors think?

Good luck!
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Old March 20, 2012   #17
ChrisK
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Nothing works here against them (i've tried spraying the stems with everything, I even wondered if pruning seal would work. It does, but you wont get any squash either. heh.)

I keep hoping Seminis will release a GMO Bt squash.
*runs for cover*
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Old March 20, 2012   #18
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Chris,
I have used a hypodermic filled with Bt liquid and injected the stems after the SVB damaged the stem. No, it didn't save the plant, but maybe I was too late.

Maybe I need to be vaccinating them with Bt before the borer finds them?

Beginning to feel a little like Bill Murray in Caddyshack just thinking about squash bugs and squash vine borers......
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Old March 21, 2012   #19
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I use aluminum foil, flashy side up, every year. No SVB the past two years.

Now, if only I could get my hands on that Romanian bride's world record bridal train (1.85 miles long), I'd put my squash under it.

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Old March 21, 2012   #20
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Torm, how exactly do you apply it? for example, do you wrap it around the stem? How far up the stem?
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Old March 21, 2012   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinAtlanta View Post
Torm, how exactly do you apply it? for example, do you wrap it around the stem? How far up the stem?
Ditto

Do you any pictures showing it on the vine?
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Old March 22, 2012   #22
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I start with a roughly 12" x 12" square of aluminum foil. Then make a cut from the midpoint of one side to the center of the square. Open the cut wide enough for the squash stem. Move the square so the stem is in the center of the square. Overlap the aluminum foil so there is no cut showing. I usually go 2" or more up the stem from ground level.

Tormato

Last edited by Tormato; March 27, 2012 at 01:15 PM.
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Old March 22, 2012   #23
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Tormato, thanks for posting! I can see that the way you wrapped the plants will keep the plant covered as the stem grows. The pieces of foil that I tried were not large enough. Can't wait to give this a go....:-)
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Old March 22, 2012   #24
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Thanks Tormato for the walk through
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Old March 22, 2012   #25
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I'm really looking forward to updates on this!

I used to use foil, too, but it didn't stay on. I guess that I didn't use nearly enough. I'd bet that the stockings would have helped keep it in place. Great going, tormato!
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Old March 23, 2012   #26
ScottinAtlanta
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Thanks, Tormato. Do you mean to say you cover 2 inches or two feet of the stem from the ground level?
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Old March 27, 2012   #27
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Two inches up the stem.

Also, some soil over the outer edges of the foil at ground level can help it stay grounded in windy conditions.

Tormato
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Old March 27, 2012   #28
ScottinAtlanta
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Two INCHES up the stem protects the vine from SVBs? Can that be right?
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Old March 28, 2012   #29
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Scott,

2 inches, or a little more. I don't think I've ever gone more than three inches.

SVB mostly like to start their attack near ground level, if I can believe what I've read.

It's the reflective nature of the aluminum foil that is supposed to repel them more than the physical barrier, again from what I've read.

The one thing I do know, I've had no SVB in mostly sunny growing seasons, and have had SVB in very cloudy growing seasons, while using the aluminum foil method.

Tormato
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Old March 29, 2012   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinAtlanta View Post
Two INCHES up the stem protects the vine from SVBs? Can that be right?
The vine borers here will hit the plant stem as far up as necessary to get in the plant. I have had them get in the stem as far as 3 ft up and have had stems with multiple borers attacking them. Squash plants get fairly large in my garden some years if the borers are late arriving. Putting the foil on the first few inches might delay them for a little while but not for very long down here. The only way to delay them for any length of time is to regularly spray the stems with Sevin and again after every rain or watering. Even doing this will only delay the inevitable; but by then I am usually a little tired of squash.
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