You may recall a few weeks ago I optimistically, fingers-crossed, hoped that putting faded marigold flowers that resulted from deadheading around cucurbit plants would eliminate or at least reduce the amount of squash bug and borer damage.  (See the “Will it Work?” post.) The fact that the squash plants were already growing amid the happy marigold plants probably should have been a clue.  When I returned from vacation, here’s  the early planted melon and squash vines’ appearance:  dead melon   All of the melon and squash vines, plus one planting of cucumbers were totally dead, whether they had marigold blooms piled on and round their bases or not.  The watermelon and 2nd cucumber plantings look okay so far, and I’ll be watching them carefully now that I’m back, for those nasty squash bugs and borers.  Meanwhile, all the offensive dead vines have been removed (but NOT put in the compost bins) and the undersides of young squash and melon plants sprayed with neem oil.  Drats!  I’d really, really hoped piles of marigolds would make a difference.  Sigh!


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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15 Responses to Drats!

  1. Robin says:

    Oh, no! That’s disappointing! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mybackyardgarden4b says:

    Thank you for posting about things that don’t work. It helps protect against the tyranny of the Instagram perfect garden. “Failures” are normal in gardening and help us learn.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. curioussteph says:

    I see I am not the only one who has a fail as far as my cucurbits are concerned. Between pests and hail, its just not going to work this year. I have on cuke in a container that is still alive, and has two flowers. Just maybe.


  4. bcparkison says:

    Well rats. Don’t you just hate to come home to such. Good grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Margy says:

    I’ve been doing that to deter aphids. And I thought it was working since I haven’t had any for two years on my kale. Maybe it was just a break in the cycle of life and I should be more careful with my inspections. – Margy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. zipcoffelt says:

    So sad! My first ‘master gardener’ year I planted Delicata squash and had a harvest of squash bugs. Asked our extension bug expert and he said the only way to be rid of those nasty critters is to catch them as eggs under the leaves. Since the bugs only attacked the Delicata, I planted a trap bed the following year and sure enough, the squash bugs feasted only on that, leaving my melons and summer squash alone. Borers? No clue.


  7. Cortney says:

    Oh no!!! Those vine borers are THE WORST. The two years previous they were so bad I lost nearly every squash I grew. Last year and going forward I relegated myself to only growing ‘pepo’ type squashes (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=279566&isprofile=0&amp😉 which they seem to hate and have had luck with them leaving the whole vine community in my garden alone. But, the minute I plant any other type of squash? Game over. Like I said, they are the worst. I’m sorry for your plant loss!


    • carolee says:

      This seems to be squash bugs carrying disease rather than borers. I only found 1 plant with borer & injected the stem with Bt, which ended that problem. I’m hoping since I won’t be traveling the later planted vines will produce something….before it frosts!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I also appreciate a post of this nature to learn from. This is our first year with a kitchen garden, and I hadn’t yet learned to even keep an eye out for this particular pest on our pumpkins. Thanks to your post, now we will!


  9. janesmudgeegarden says:

    What a shame: there was hope there for a while, wasn’t there?

    Liked by 1 person

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