I just said farewell this week to most of my winter squash plants, which began wilting suddenly from squash vine borer. (Sudden wilting is a sign of borer, as is sawdust-like residue where boring into the plant has occurred.) Though I cut out the affected parts and buried the stems to let them re-root, I suspect my efforts will fail this time. Various friends have lost their crops this year, too, in my area. Other reasons squash and related crops fail is from squash bugs or from cucumber beetles. The cucumber beetles can transmit a bacterial wilt to squash plants (besides doing their own nibbling). A couple of further reads include a sustainable agriculture bulletin on non-chemical controls for these pests, and a fact sheet from Clemson. The third link is about the cucumber beetle, specifically. Perhaps these will help you determine the precise pattern you’ve witnessed with your plants and what’s at work as a starting point. ” class=”bbcode_url”>http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/squash_pest.html
Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.