By David O. Heishman –
Squash galore. Bunches of it. Yellow Crookneck, Golden Zucchini, Dark Zucchini.
Big plants. Gotta fight my way down through high leaves to see base where fruits grow. Even then I miss a lot of dark zucchinis. They hide.
But, they don’t hide from Eagle Eye Mary. Best cucumber/zucchini picker I’ve ever seen. Mary Wicks is signed up to pick my Big House garden evenings after she gets off work. I think it’s most fun to watch her pick after I’ve gone over plants. She delights in waving big old zucchinis I’ve missed under my nose and chortling about it.
Borers haven’t struck yet this year. Past several years by this time squash plants are dying. Yellow, weak, drooping. Squash shriveled, some with holes. So far, not this year. Not sure why.
Nuprid®, maybe. A chemical I put in soil and sprayed on base of growing plants. Not as good as Admire® which is expensive and hard to find, but still supposed to be helpful with boring larva.
Diatomaceous Earth. Good stuff, I think. Natural, no chemicals. Sprinkle it on plants, especially plant root crowns and bases where squash attach. I use a square of old burlap feed sack with corners pulled together around a big dollop of the white dust. A couple of shakes applies a good coating for vine bases where borer grubs cut in.
I think it’s working, maybe the main thing helping this year. I like it also because it goes on plant base, not blossoms where honey bees feed. No active chemical ingredients. Bugs come in contact, they dry up and die. Some diatomaceous earth is marked food grade. You can use it in your home to stop bugs such as those found in kitchens. Available lots of places. I get mine at Southern States.
This is first year I have planted squash plants. Think I got them at Lowe’s one day when I was in Winchester. I’d ordered seeds too. Six plants have grown wonderfully big, but they don’t produce much. A few nice fruits, but no real notable production. Mary doesn’t like them because so much trouble fighting the vegetation for so little reward.