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Beating the Borer... — The Grow Network Community
Flowers are the music of the ground from earth's lips spoken without sound.

- Edwin Curran

Beating the Borer...

For two years now, squash vine borers have decimated my crop. I cover my plants with bug cloth to help keep them safe when they are young, but once they start to flower, this becomes counterproductive, and the moths attack. Does anyone have any methods that work for keeping these pests away?!


  • Karyn PenningtonKaryn Pennington Posts: 71 ✭✭✭

    I've heard to just plant them later in the season, but I'm still seeing those little white moths/butterflies that are supposedly the culprit.

    I'd be happy to hear of a better idea.

  • chimboodle04chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @Karyn Pennington looking up their life cycle is good advice to see when they are laying and planting later, thanks :). I didn't uncover mine until mid July as it was though and they still got attacked twice. Worried that if I wait any longer I won't get very much of a harvest... Worth looking into though. The white moths are cabbage moths and attack the brassica family vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, etc...) We still have those too, but I can keep the bug cloth on those vegetables since they do not need pollination to produce. This is a pic of the vine borer we have around here (Ohio)...

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    In my area I am overrun with them it seems every year. It doesn't matter how many plants/seeds I place, I lose every one. So I started trying the aluminum foil trick, the toilet tissue roll trick, the aluminum can trick and I still lost them. What I did find for my zucchini and squash needs, plant a variety which is squash vine borer resistant. That means I now plant Trombonchino and I have success every time I do it for the last two years. I It takes some searching to find the seeds since many do not carry it but I found them at Territorial Seed Company.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,557 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I found this link https://getbusygardening.com/get-rid-of-squash-borer-organically/

    Also, if you have the space, rotating your crops each year from area to area helps starve insects that survive in the soil, i.e., those that attack cabbage crops or tomatoes, etc.

  • chimboodle04chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @greyfurball thanks - I will have to look that variety up!

    @shllnzl Thank you for the link - I will check it out!

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,557 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @chimboodle04 You're welcome. I am just happy when I can contribute to the gardening threads because all I have currently are herbs in pots.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @chimboodle04 , if you are experienced with herbs, please give us some ideas what you do with your harvests when you get a lot of them.

    I use herbs interspersed thru all of my garden for insect control and then I also have an herb bed. I also have some in my flower beds, just because I had no where else to put them. Then I give a lot away. And to really make it sound stupid, I actually pull some and use them for the compost pile just to get rid of them somewhere.

    So other than herbal vinegars, oils, freezing them, compound butters etc. I'm always on the lookout for something else I can do.

    The only thing I know of I haven't got into yet is using them for medicinal purposes. And that's just a time restraint problem. If I had a good recipe in front of me and the herb too, I'd probably try that also.

    So if you have any ideas, please let us know.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball which herbs do you have growing? I may have a recipe🙄

  • chimboodle04chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @greyfurball I have a feeling that your comment was meant for @shllnzl since that reply mentioned herbs, but I actually do grow a lot myself for culinary use and as companion plants too :) Other than the methods you list, we do dehydrate a good portion as well, but we also can a lot of our produce, so I grow and use many herbs that will go into our sauces and other recipes to use through the year. Pestos are another great use and freeze well :)

  • GardennanGardennan Central NCPosts: 47 ✭✭✭

    I second the grow Trombonchino variety squash. They are very tasty and also can be left to mature and use as a winter squash. I've grown them in both places we've lived in North Carolina and they have done well. You do need to trellis them though. When I lived at my last place I could never grow squash because the vine bores were so bad the Trombonchino made it possible to eat my favorite vegetable again. I think I bought it at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

  • chimboodle04chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @Gardennan Thank you :) I went to the site you suggested and looked them up - looks like a good variety! Have you left any to mature to winter squash? - I am wondering about the flavor.... Thanks again :)

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @Imrebert, growing I always have basil, oregano, sage, lemon balm, dill, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, chives, borage, marjoram, par-cel, several varieties of mint and garlic, Almost all of those above I have in multiple varieties and multiple flavors.

    Then each year if I see something else interesting I will buy its seed also and give it a try so if you know of something good and prolific I'm always willing to give it a try. Thanks

  • GardennanGardennan Central NCPosts: 47 ✭✭✭

    @chimboodle04 ,Hi again I haven't tried it as a winter squash yet but I have one in the refrigerator waiting to be cooked.I'll let you know when we eat it.

  • chimboodle04chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @Gardennan Please do! I have the variety saved to purchase for next year - thanks again!

  • probinson50probinson50 Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    I have been plagued with borers as well. This year I planted early and then again later - the early plants were the sacrifice. Worked well and even some of the early plants made a comeback later in the season. I make sure to rotate every year as well.

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