Thursday, August 11, 2005

Plant Surgery

My acorn squash, pumpkin and zucchini vines have flourished and grown to great lengths. However over the past week, I've noticed some of the leaves turning brown. After slaving over them for months and then checking their progress daily......I was concerned. So, I did a little internet research. My vines were demonstrating the classic symptoms of squash vine borers (SVB for those in the know).

One would assume that after thousands of years of perfecting the art of gardening, a simple spray or powder would have been invented to cure this little problem in a jiffy.

I was soon to learn that if one assumed this, they would be wrong. After visiting a number of websites and trusted local garden stores, I learned that the only way to cure this problem, once it has begun, is to cut into the vines and dig out the big, white grubs and squish them dead. Then take a hat pin and continue stabbing them for a few more inches up the vine. Could this be any more gross?

The helpful lady at Leitners Gardens felt my pain/horror and suggested that maybe I could find some jr. high boys in the neighborhood that would think it was cool to kill them for a quarter a piece. (Damn, this is the perfect example of why I should have gone to the neighborhood picnic and chatted up the neighborhood kids. Mental note for next year)

There was no way those plants were going to die without a fight. So, this afternoon....pocket knife and hat pin in hand, I performed major surgery on my squash vines. There are a number of little, white SVB corpses laying in the dirt to prove it. Now I guess we wait with bated breath to see if my "patients" survive.

I've finally stopped gagging, but I think I'm going to skip lunch ;-) Next year I'm hoping for something simple like aphids.


SmilingJudy said...

Be sure to cover the wounds with soil and give them lots of water. You can also inject the vines with a BT solution.

StuccoHouse said...

Ok, thanks for that tip :-) I was wondering what to do about the "wounds." I contemplated gauze there for a while.....but soil seems a bit more logical.

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