I had major issues with Cucumber Beetles and Squash Vine Borers last Summer-I bought row covers this year to hopefully prevent the same thing this Summer. Does anyone know the correct time to cover the bed to effectively keep out the Vine Borers & Beetles? Cucumber seeds have just emerged & I will be planting Zucchini this weekend. Thanks in advance for any help!
You would need to cover the plants ASAP and just remove the covers when they're flowering so they can be pollinated, assuming they're not parthenocarpic varieties which could stay covered. Good luck; I tried that with squash and still lost them to squash bugs.
Thanks greenhouse_gal! I knew about the pollination problem but timing on coverage is critical-Thanks for your expertise!! If it works I'll be the 1st to let you know!!!
You shouldn't have problems with vine borers on cucumbers because their stalks are thinner and more solid than most squash stalks. The cover should definitely help with the cucumber beetles. I think Diva is parthenocarpic, if you want to try that next time. Then you can just keep the covers on. It's a nice tasting cucumber, too.
we cover our cantaloupe and watermelon plants because we have the same issue with cucumber beetles. We then hand pollinate the flowers with a cue tip. I get a higher rate of return with the hand pollination than letting nature take it's course but then it's a residential garden and not a commercial plot.
Last year I planted Partenon Squash in a tent and they did really well - no squash bugs or borers to be seen. And they cranked out a lot of squash. This year I have had germination issues so have just ordered a new pack from Johnny's. I also grow Diva cucumbers but keep losing them to something in the soil - slugs or some kind of worm that eats off the heads even with toothpicks stuck in all around the stems. That is a mystery for me to solve - what is eating them?