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Goodbye Squash Crop



The cure for Pickleworm is apparently a whole lot of poison. You can use organic poison, but that’s still what you’re doing. Otherwise, cry a lot, use row covers, and cry some more.

I am hoping to grow Gem Squash next year, and have planned to grow nothing BUT so that I get seeds for saving, and I'm REALLY hoping they fruit before the pickleworms arrive.

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We don't get pickleworms in southern Illinois, but squash bugs destroyed our squash plants and later, once the squash plants ran out, mauled the cucumber vines. I also lost my mind over the tomato worms and Sevin dusted all of the tomato plants after I'd picked off worm after worm and lost my temper.

Rough summer for pests.

I also hate SQUASH VINE BORERS, they also say to use row covers, but ehhh. Lotsa money and bother.

Can you maybe create some sort of mesh cage that keeps out the moth that lays the eggs of the pickleworm? Internet research suggests that the moths fly by night and the pollinating bees by day, so perhaps something lightweight that could be placed over your plants at night? (I realise this sounds like a PITA, but I am contemplating individual nylon fruit covers for my apples for next year, as every single one is infested with codling larva)

We get codling moth down here in NuZild, and we had some luck last season with wrapping a particular double sided sticky tape around the trunk. This season we're planning on using the tape again, but on individual branches as well, together with a pheremone trap to catch the moths.

Apparently the egggs are laid in the ground and the larvae crawl up the trunk and branches to reach the fruit, which the sticky tape prevents.

Obviously YMMV applies on the other side of the planet.

Sticky tape? My dad used to use a product called Tanglefoot for the same effect (for ants and a type of beetle.) You might look that up, since it's probably easier.

Condolences. Perhaps consider growing something that matures faster and planting earlier? The extension website suggests this is what farmers in the Carolinas did before modern pesticides. They also suggest planting a trap crop, but that is to protect melons and using squashes as the sacrificial plant.

http://www.extension.org/pages/60954/biology-and-management-of-pickleworm-and-melonworm-in-organic-curcurbit-production-systems

I've tried to unscreened this comment but LJ's new mobile version is...not useful.

No worries. Hope the extension website might be useful to you and good luck.

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Gonna try pantyhose over the gem squash, I think--that's what some people say they have luck with. If that fails...well, I guess Bt, though I hate HATE to use it in a moth friendly garden. I've only got a dozen squash seeds, though, so I gotta hoard them.

What you need are GMO squash that make Bt internally. But the only GMO squash I've heard about were engineered for virus resistance.

I am very curious to know if the panty hose trick works. Because if it does…
There will be a good reason in the universe for panty hose. EVAR!!!

(I'm just say'n)

Georgia resident here… I've got pleeeeenty of fire ants if you'd like to "borrow" some!

You'd think there'd be a demand for NO-QUEEN fire-ants for controlling the parasites!

My sympathies; I know it's hard to see pinholes in things you're raising.

I do love how Garden Hen is working on the Pickleworm Earworm you planted, though! :)

This year I planted zuccini and squash becasue the bunnies won't eat them. Instead, I lost the whole crop, about a dozen plants, to squash vine borers. I started those seeds in Feb.! I raise my glass to you in sympathy.

I had to stop trying to grow pumpkins. The blossoms turned sickly, blotchy colors and fell off after blooming, despite looking just fine for a day or three, or small grubby things made nests in the stems. Even when I grew them inside.
Still gotta figure out what the blotchy thing is. It seems to affect the leaves of everything except aloe as well.

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