Aug 18, 2010

Squash Vine Borer Signs and Removal


Sibling Squash
© SouthWoods Forest Gardens 2010
The Squash Vine Borer causes a yellow fringe to the leaves. The leaves are under stress from the insect at the base of the stem. 

Frass can be seen at the base of the stem where the Borer is feeding. It is a light brown mass of grainy goo.



You can run a series of pins through the stem at this point and most probably skewer the borer and save the plant.
Or you can cut the main stem lengthwise, with the grain, and remove the borer by hand. This is the best technique and the plant will heal with a tough woody texture around the wound. Run pins through the stem to keep it together and keep other insects from entering the hollow area.The damaged leaf will most likely die back.

This assertive action will get the bugs out of the squash for good and will allow you to have successful yields. It might be a daily routine to inspect the plant, but watching the leaves will tell you if you need to act. Our 24 plants produced 160 squash with this technique.  I think the plant also responds with stronger stems and a tougher skin. Some of our harvest stored for over a year from these plants.

Be sure to remove all organic matter from these plants from your garden in the fall.








© SouthWoods Forest Gardens 2010

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Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden
Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals