Last year, Bob posted some information about why he was planting his summer squash ‘late’ last year, namely to avoid the dreaded squash vine borer. Well, I’m not that smart (or I just really like to have my zucchini by the 4th of July), and I plant ’em anyway, ready to press my luck.
So here, for your education and enjoyment, I present to you what happens when you do, indeed, have a vine borer infestation–>
The good news is that a couple of days ago I noticed the frass (the orangy-looking stuff), and took out my trusty garden-knife and got to work.
I stuck the knife in, gently, and pulled out one, white, wriggling worm. I (graphic description removed in consideration of our sensitive readers) and all was well.
The plants should be able to survive, at least for a while until my second round of zucchini plants gets to fruit-bearing age within the next week or so. Hopefully I’ve avoided further problems with the vine borers, though there’s really no telling whether I got all the worms out. It’s a fine balance between hacking up your plant with the knife and finding worms as you could do just as much damage to the plant as the worm. Anyway, in the past my vines have done okay, even when compromised. I mean, who really needs more zucchini?
So, on another front of my Zucchini Wars, I’ve been mechanically disposing squash bug eggs off my squash leaves every couple of days. I really don’t like to spray my veggies with chemicals, but I’m not averse to CRUSHING any insect that gets in my way. You may recall my Cabbage Worm Armageddon series last year…this year it’s Squash the Squash Bug (eggs)!
Here’s a pic of the little buggers, generally on the undersides of leaves, but I’ve also found them on the tops this year as well:
Today I’ve been experimenting with multiple ways of squashing them. You can fairly easily remove them from the leaves with your fingers without damaging the leaves. You can also tear off the part of the leaf with the eggs. One method I particularly liked was taking the broad side of my knife and flattening the eggs on the leaf, right then and there. Whatever you decide, the next step is simply…