msuc5vette
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Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:27 pm
Location: Norther Oakland County MI

Zucchini / Summer Squash Plant Rot and Squash Bugs

I will be planting my Zucchini and Summer Squash in the next few weeks.

Last year I had problems with both.

The big problem ended up being the squash bugs got out of control. This year I will be much more attentive to getting rid of the little buggers.

The other problem I had was the stem of the plants seem to rot.

I ended up getting several nice fruit before the plants died, but this year I would like to have fruit for the whole season.

Is the stem rot related to the squash bugs, or what might be causing that problem?

My Aunt said she had the stem rot, but not the bugs...

My garden is a raised bed, I am installing a drip watering system. Soil is 1/3 each compost vermiculite and peat moss.
If we all stop waiting, we will see something happen.

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hendi_alex
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Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

What you call stem rot could be the work of squash vine borers. The adult is a large black wasp with an orange ring around the abdomen. She lays eggs inside the upper stem and the larvae eat their way and grow as they move toward the crown. Eventually the crown is a pulpy mess and the vine dies. I fight the problem by keeping a look out for the active adults and also plant a succession of just a few squash each. Sometimes the young squash are covered with a fine mesh cover to keep the critters out until the plant gets a decent size. If the plant is growing vigorously and has some size before squash bugs or vine borers can get to it, then the plant will likely give a decent harvest. Also, by staggering the plantings you will probably have at least one group of plants growing at a time that the borers are less active. Also, it is my experience that small groups of squash planted far apart are less likely to all be affected to the same degree by these pests.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

msuc5vette
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:27 pm
Location: Norther Oakland County MI

Thanks, I thought about having plants in multiple spots, I will give that a shot.

Does dish soap do anything against the wasps or borers?
If we all stop waiting, we will see something happen.

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