Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cucumber Beetles and Squash Vine Borers

(Not all my garden is yet in framed, raised beds).

Cucumber beetles and squash vine borers are menaces to cucumber and squash plants.
Right now, my cucumbers are still under a floating row cover, to protect them from
cucumber beetles.  But my zucchini and squash plants are too larger to cover.  The photo
above shows two strategies: first, note the whitish color of the leaves?  This is because I
sprayed the plants with Surround (trademarked,) a fine-milked kaolin clay that is mixed 
with water and sprayed on the entire plant.  Vine borer moths, squash beetles and other bugs
seem to dislike the gritty surface, so it acts as a barrier to their egg laying.  Surround
washes off in the rain and must be reapplied.  The yellow cards hanging from stakes are 
coated with Tangle Trap, similar to the sticky gunk on fly paper.  It comes in a can with a built
in brush lid to ease application.  Cucumber beetles, which transmit wilt (and are more bother-
some to cucumbers than zucchini, but harm it too) are attracted to the color yellow, stick and die.  
When my cucumbers are uncovered, I will put some of these yellow traps in that bed, too.  I 
will monitor the traps to make sure no bees are caught, and, if they are, down will come the
Happy gardening!

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