The Day the Squash Plants Died

I’m giving up on summer squash. In a previous blog I wrote about the lush zucchinis I had growing in my bed at the Community Garden. I even had a photo of a couple of zucchinis – a traditional dark green skinned zuke and a new variety (to me) with pale green skin. I’d always lost my squash plants to borers so I was really excited.

First it was some yellowing leaves. Then whole stalks began to die off. Clearly it was a borer issue.This had been a huge canopy of lush green leaves just days ago.

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It was too late to save this plant – the dark green zuchinni – and left the pale green one. I’ll check it tomorrow and it may get pulled as well. I’ll plant some fall crop in that end of that bed.

squashvineborerhole-BEN

When you see this on the squash vine, it’s too late.That stuff on the left side of the slit is borer frass (poop). Apparently you can slit the stem to kill the grub inside but I have never had much luck with that. Summer squash and pumpkins are particularly susceptible to borers and any winter squash I ever planted bit the dust as well.

In the meantime the cantaloupe and watermelons in the same bed are doing very well. I have two cantaloupes the size of small bowling balls and watermelons the size of big tennis balls and there are lots of flowers and bees. Note: Not being into sports of any kind, I couldn’t think of balls the right sizes. Borers don’t seem to bother cantaloupes and watermelons as much as they do summer squash.

I guess the universe wants me to support the local farmers who seem to know how to outwit squash borers. I’m giving up on growing summer squash!