Protecting Your Squash Plantscomments (3) June 15th, 2012
Video Length: 4:00
Produced by: Greg Holdsworth
One of the most formidable foes to members of the squash family (including pumpkins) is undoubtedly the squash vine borer. The moth of the borer is often mistaken for a wasp because of its similar red-orange appearance. After they lay their eggs at the base of the main branches, the caterpillars grow and feed inside the stalk or main stem. If there is enough damage to the stems, the entire plant may die.
After losing my Spring pumpkin crop to borers last year, I was determined to find a method to reduce or stop the damage. I found a possible answer: wrapping the main stems at the base to prevent the caterpillars from getting through. My method combines two different materials, old pantyhose and aluminum foil. I would imagine other materials could also be used (cardboard, thick cloth, etc.).
Applying the squash protection "shield":
1. Clear away any dead stems, leaves, etc. from around the base of plant. This will make wrapping the stems easier.
2. Clear away a small area of the soil around the main stems. You will be starting the wrap below the soil surface.
3. Wrap the pantyhose around the main stems, going up at least a few inches.
4. Tear off as many 4-6-inch sheets of the aluminum foil you feel you'll need.
5. Wrap them around the main stems, over the same stem areas that are covered with the pantyhose.
6. Replace the soil you cleared away from the main stems back, to cover the bottom inch or so of the wrap.
Hopefully your squash plants won't be "bored" this season!
More on growing squash...
posted in: squash, Pest control, squash vine borer