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Life’s Flavors ~ Your Garden and Squash Pests By Allison Libby-Thesing

Life’s Flavors ~ Your Garden and Squash Pests By Allison Libby-Thesing
  • PublishedJune 27, 2024

Unwanted Garden Pests

Every year as a gardener we are faced with having to deal with unwanted pests in the garden. For the most part it is a fairly simple task and we can remediate with house hold methods and scare off anything we do not want or need in the garden. There are times when we have to work a little harder because the bugs are persistent or cause so much damage that we have to replant.

Sadly, this year is one of those years. We lost four squash plants to vine boring bugs, that make it hard to come back from without wholly removing the plant from the garden and starting over. This year I let the bug run it course to see if it would affect any of my other plants or manage to contain itself to just the few it infected. So far so good, they have managed to stay within the radius of the first infected plants and we are now on the offensive trying to keep them away, as opposed to defense and removal.

Here are a few tips to help keep out squash bugs and squash vine borers from your garden naturally. We do not use chemicals in our garden, but if that is your jive go for it. One, plant your squash early and in a new location from where you planted it last year. This will help to establish your plants early and strengthen the stems of your plants to hopefully deter squash vine borers from arriving on the scene.

Secondly, we are a big fan of companion planting. We like to mix plants together to optimize our growing space as well as help to keep pests away. Besides planting marigolds around the garden we missed the boat a little and could have done a bit more to help keep our garden performing better. Nasturtium and radish both make great companions to squash plants. Which isn’t to say we did not plant any, just that we planted in different spot and did not optimize this “protection” from unwanted pests. As we get ready to plant for the fall, we will add in better companion planting for better growth and protection.

Third, there is always the option of wrapping the stems of your plants with aluminum foil or nylon to help prevent squash borers from laying eggs and then entering the plant. This is a simple solution that could yield great results, especially if you cannot get your plants in early enough to help strengthen the stems.

Fourth, prevention with growing can come in a couple of different forms and can be non-toxic. Neem Oil, Diatomaceous Earth(DE), and a dish with soapy water, can all help deter and prevent both bugs from coming near your plants. The Diatomaceous Earth causes the squash bugs to dry out and then die. The dish with soapy water attracts the moths that lay the squash borer eggs and will drown them to prevent them from laying eggs. The Neem Oil is just a great, organic product to put all over your garden for general health and pest control. It can be used by targeting specific areas or all over.

Do not let the bugs take over your garden this year. There are plenty of ways to prevent loss and keep your garden pesticide free. After all, that’s probably why you grow your own food to begin with. Companion planting and useful items such as Neem Oiland DE can help keep your garden healthy. Even with these few options there are still more out there that can be used to help prevent and keep bugs away from eating your food.

By Allison Libby-Thesing 

Written By

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