I have planted zucchini and the plants are beautiful and flowering like mad but now that the zucchini is coming on it is starting to die from some kind of worm coming up through the root and it is killing the plants. What can I do to rid my garden of these destructive worms?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
bshale from Leon, Iowa
Sounds like you have Squash Vine Borers. In the larvae or caterpillar stage, they are white with a dark head. They hatch from eggs laid in the soil by wasp-like moths, and then tunnel into stalks and leaf stems to feed. As they tunnel along eating the inner tissues of the plant, they push brown-colored waste out their entrance holes. The boring restricts the flow of water and nutrients to the plants and weakens their physical structure. In some cases, vigorous plants are able to survive the attack if the borer population is limited, but unfortunately, this is seldom the case.
Here are a number of organic methods for controlling them in the garden:
Trying to save infested plants:
To control them in the garden:
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I am also in zone 5a. Sounds like cutworms. I have learned to plant my zucchini with a soup can size peat pot around it. I cut out the bottom of it so the plant can grow. This keeps the cutworms from getting to the stem and root. You may want to dig around the already growing plants a bit and use some kind of barrier that is at least 3-4 inches deep. (06/27/2006)
I have had past problems with borers attacking my squash plants when they are in full bloom. They bore into the hollow stems and kill the plants. Go to a nursery, garden center, or coop. They i'll tell you what you need, whether you go organic or not. Don't put it off too long, or you may lose your plants. (06/27/2006)
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