Last year in early June I had many reasons to smile. Garden was growing, everything was transplanted, I could smell the tomatoes I would enjoy weeks down the road. I was seriously impressed with my beautiful winter squash http://www.rareseeds.com/galeux-d-eysines-squash/?F_Keyword=galeux
I took a highly unnecessarily number of pictures of my Galeux d'Eysines plants. They were gorgeous. Then one day in early June, I noticed some wilt on a couple of leaves. I ignored it, figuring the rate of growth was requiring more water. Watered my plant, yet the wilt still spread to other leaves. Hmmm, maybe it's stressed with these hotter days? Within a week, all three plants were clearly dying. About that time I noticed the stems at the base of the plant looked knobby and were splitting. Took a closer look and was greeted with a nasty grub looking bastard wriggling in the stem of the plant. Ran to The Google. Found the problem, a squash vine borer. I knew it was too late but ever hopefully cleared out the vine borers and planted the stem in healthy soil. That stem initially flourished in the new soil, with the buds that were still on the stem opening and blooming. A week after that, hopes dashed, I removed the dead vine from its new home.
I considered planting butternut squash instead, as it is rumored to not be such a tasty home for the squash borer. But I'm stubborn, so trying again this year with the GdE winter squash. Winter squash plants are transplanted in my garden and looking fantastic. But I know what's coming. As I am also planting yellow summer squash and Cocozella di Napoli zucchini this year, a plan of attack is in order. I haven't yet decided if I am going to wrap the stems in foil or nylon. What I did do this morning is create a tasty mix of black pepper and diatomaceous earth and sprinkled it on the base of the plants. I am hoping this early application will kill the moth that lays the eggs or at the very least, repel it. I also will stop the application once the plants begin to bloom, as to not discourage the plentiful bees that love the squash flowers. I also have a small support for the summer squash and zukes, so I can trail the flowers away from the base of the plant.
Link to zucchini: http://www.rareseeds.com/cocozella-di-napoli-squas/?F_Keyword=squash&F_Sort=1
Wish me luck.