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Old June 2, 2021   #1
GoDawgs
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Default An SVB Experiment

As I may or may not have mentioned a while ago, I got to thinking about that kaolin clay based Surround that some of you spray on some of your veggies for bug protection. And I wondered if kaolin clay painted on squash stems might harden and deter squash vine borers. The theory is that they won't be able to chew through the hardened clay. Oh, for sure the larvae can climb above the hardened area and do their damage but at least if the frass holes are higher on the plant they'd be more visible.

Kaolin mines are everywhere around here and I was able to access some high grade processed kaolin powder that I mixed into a nice soft, very paintable consistency. Last evening I took the kaolin slurry I to the garden and applied it to the stems of the Tahitian melon squash and to the straightneck yellow squash, making sure I got it painted on all the way to the bottom.The zucchini and spaghetti squash stems weren't long enough to really do yet.





By the time I was done for the evening, the slurry had hardened up nicely. There's also some DE dusted around the stems. And in the process of painting the straightneck, I discovered there's the first baby squash on the way.

I got to thinking that maybe I can incorporate some bT dust into the mix. That way if they do try o chew through the kaolin, they'll get a belly full of nasty. We'll see how this all holds up after a rain. Maybe I'll keep painting the stem all the way up as it grows. We'll see.
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Old June 2, 2021   #2
brownrexx
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Interesting experiment.
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Old June 3, 2021   #3
PhilaGardener
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Yes, following your trial! Our SVB pressure is pretty extreme in PA.
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Old June 3, 2021   #4
brownrexx
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The only thing I have found that works reliably is succession planting.
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Old June 4, 2021   #5
GoDawgs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
The only thing I have found that works reliably is succession planting.
Doing that too. The seeds of the next two plants just popped up two days ago.
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Old June 5, 2021   #6
seaeagle
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I tried just about everything. BT injections. aluminum foil, and the best solution I found was just picking off the vine borer eggs by hand every other day.



Year before last the Stink Bugs got so bad they were doing a lot of damage to everything in the garden. Tomatoes, peppers, melons. The squash bugs are drawn to the squash so I thought by eliminating the squash maybe the stink bug population would decline.



Last year there were hardly any stink bugs. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Maybe not. My conclusion is that squash just isn't worth it. I grow early long purple eggplant and it is a good substitute in a stir fry. Not as good but for all the trouble the squash presents it works fine


Although stinkbugs and squash bugs are not the same they are similar and omit a similar odor when crushed so maybe squash bugs can enhance the stinkbug problem.

Last edited by seaeagle; June 5, 2021 at 05:25 PM.
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Old June 6, 2021   #7
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OK, we got 3" of rain yesterday. First rain in three weeks and it came down hard four separate times. How did the kaolin hold up? I went and checked this morning.

Unfortunately most of it was washed off except for where it was in a crease or depression on the stem or in a leaf axil. Heavy sigh. I thought that might happen but I was hoping it wouldn't. I had a little success last year by keeping the base of the plant powdered down with Sevin. I'm thinking I might try that on the yellow squash and use only DE on the zuke and see if there's any difference.
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Old June 8, 2021   #8
b54red
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I am still having real success with dusting Sevin on the lower part of the stems and the mulch right around the base. I am careful to only apply it in the evenings as bees love the squash blossoms in the mornings when they first open. I am very careful to not dust the blooms as my honey bee population is really growing over the last few years and I don't want to do anything that will mess that up if possible.

I only planted four Butta yellow zucchini this year as I find them very tender and slow to seed or turn tough so they have taken the place of that long row of crooknecks I used to grow and it certainly is easier to take care of four plants as opposed to 20 or more. We find them just as tasty stewed down with onions and bacon drippings as the crooknecks and it only takes a couple of them for a good mess. I will probably have to pull at least two of them because they are making so well this year that we can't keep up with them.
I don't want giving squash and cucumbers away to become too much work.

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Old June 11, 2021   #9
NewWestGardener
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I read that Trombocino squash is more resistant to SVB (with occasional grower say they can also get it). I'm growing a few of this squash, wedont have SVB problem, but it is super productive and said to be better tasting than zucchini with firmer texture.
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Old June 11, 2021   #10
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I liked the Trombocino squash, too. Makes great zoodles, and it freezes well, too. It definitely was SVB resistant for me, but eventually the pickle worm got it. Vines are rather large with makes covering them at night a bit of a pain. This year, I am not growing any squash. Sigh..... The battle is real especially in the South. SO many bugs....and foliage disease due to high humidity. BUT...I still enjoy gardening! :-)
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Old June 13, 2021   #11
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Last year the SVB's didn't bother the trombone. Is it possible that the weeds that grew up through all those vines hid the stems?

After so much dry weather we've been having good rain lately, four of the last eight days producing 6.8". We'll take it! I still want to reapply the kaolin paste on the summer squash once we hit a dry spell. Meanwhile, Sevin is being used around the bases...until it gets washed off!
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Old June 16, 2021   #12
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Last year the SVB's didn't bother the trombone. Is it possible that the weeds that grew up through all those vines hid the stems?

After so much dry weather we've been having good rain lately, four of the last eight days producing 6.8". We'll take it! I still want to reapply the kaolin paste on the summer squash once we hit a dry spell. Meanwhile, Sevin is being used around the bases...until it gets washed off!
I'm not sure it would work but if you have to apply the Sevin to a lot of squash stems I think I would try mixing it up in a quart spray bottle maybe double strength with a teaspoon of Dawn. It wouldn't take more than a spray or two to coat the base and lower stem without involving the blooms.

Bill
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Old June 16, 2021   #13
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Do you think I should wait a bit? There are still a lot of blossoms near the base.
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Old June 17, 2021   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Do you think I should wait a bit? There are still a lot of blossoms near the base.
I wouldn't wait. Just make sure you just coat the lower stem and a bit of the soil or mulch around the base. It only takes one borer to ruin a plant. I often go too long after a hard rain before coating and that has resulted in a few borers. Sometimes though when the rain is coming as often as it has this past 10 days it is hard to dust the base after each heavy rain. A light rain never seems to remove the Sevin at all. Just avoid dusting the blooms themselves as I have never seen a bee light on the lower stem or on the soil around the stem.

Bill
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Old June 20, 2021   #15
JRinPA
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So the thing is to dust with Sevin at the plant bases, to protect from SVB moth/borers? But not to get it near the flowers to keep the bees safe? And need to reapply after a heavy rain?

I bought some Sevin dust last week, same stuff I bought a couple years ago. It worked extremely well against leaf munching bugs, but I wasn't sure about SVB. I have used pesticides very sparingly.

Bill are you saying to mix the dust (5% dust I think)? into a solution and spray it? Or are you talking about liquid Sevin that is a totally different pesticide?

I just took the cover off my summer squash, yesterday, for the first time. No bugs present that I could see. Some small squash that will hopefully get pollinated today before they end up rotting.

That no bugs thing lasted about 12 seconds, as you can see!
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