EricaOTCHT
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Bugs are making a home in the Zucchini stems! Help!

Hi! I live in Zone 7 and am a novice Gardner. I planted 2 zucchini transplants next to each other and next to 3 pepper plants (not doing my research that Zucchini plants get HUGE!) I cut some leaves off to give the other plants sun! However I noticed that bugs are making a home in the tubular stems of my Zucchini. The base of my plants are getting Yellow and mushy and seem to be eaten to the core.

Is there anything I could do? My plant already produced 2 beautiful Zucchini (I even did my own pollinating) however noticed the change this past week! What should or could I do?

Erica
Long Island, New York

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rainbowgardener
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Re: I cut my Zucchini Leaves! Help

When you say the base of your plants is getting mushy and eaten, you mean down near the ground? Looks about like this:


Image
https://www.walterreeves.com/wp-content/ ... 00x333.jpg

with probably some sawdusty looking stuff on the ground around it. (Called frass, the sawdusty stuff is droppings of the below critter.)

That is the dreaded squash vine borer. Lays its eggs on the stem or leaves and then the larvae hatch out and burrow in to the stem and hollow it out from the inside. Then the roots have no communication with the leaves. If yours is looking about like the picture, it's probably too late to do anything and unfortunately, your whole plant will be dead in a few more days. They are the worst pest in my garden and I have about given up growing zucchini because of them.

If it is the SVB, it has nothing to do with cutting your leaves.


But your peppers will probably be better off if you can transplant them to a new location where they won't be shaded out by the zukes (unless of course the zukes are dead in a few days, in which case it won't matter :cry: ). The only good news in here is that the SVB's won't bother your peppers.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

n8young
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Location: Eliot, ME - zone 6a

Re: Bugs are making a home in the Zucchini stems! Help!

yeah if it's SVB and they look like the picture, just start planning next year's zucchini patch to be in a different location....they are toast!.....sorry. I grew zukes one year, and same thing happened to me....wont grow them again.

imafan26
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Re: Bugs are making a home in the Zucchini stems! Help!

I read up on SVB, thankfully I haven't seen this problem probably because I grow cucumbers and butternut squash that are not affected by them. Based on their life cycle they peak in June and July, so row covers might work as a physical barrier and timing planting to miss the peak might also help.

https://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/in ... ne-borers/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

EricaOTCHT
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Re: Bugs are making a home in the Zucchini stems! Help!

Thanks so much for the helpful posts! :D The picture that was posted is exactly what my Zucchini plant base looked like! That stinks! At least I got 2 great Zucchini out of it! What I did was cut off at the base the badly eaten mushy part! There were some good looking stems and root so I left them! I'll see what happens..this is all an experiment to me!

Thanks again for solving my mystery!

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sheeshshe
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Re: Bugs are making a home in the Zucchini stems! Help!

I have not found that moving them next year to a new location really helps. the moths fly, so if they don't see them in one place, they'll just fly elsewhere :( everyone in my neighbor now is bothered by the stupid things :(
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bugs are making a home in the Zucchini stems! Help!

sheeshshe wrote:I have not found that moving them next year to a new location really helps. the moths fly, so if they don't see them in one place, they'll just fly elsewhere :( everyone in my neighbor now is bothered by the stupid things :(
I agree and I have also now given up growing zucchini... :( Every few years I try again, with new methods of fighting them and then I give up again. They really are just too vulnerable. Very vulnerable to powdery mildew, squash bugs and the bacterial wilt they carry, as well as the SVB's. One year I did manage to protect them from SVB and the squash bugs and bacterial wilt got them. Just not fun!

I'm now growing winter squash, not nearly as vulnerable.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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