Non-chemical Strategies to Prevent Insect Damage on Eggplant and Zucchini

My eggplant leaves are a little crumpled from pressing up against the row cover, but there is no sign of the flea beetle damge that usually weakens them so much in the spring.  The cover needs to be removed when they flower, for pollination.

My eggplant leaves are a little crumpled from pressing up against the row cover, but there is very little sign of the flea beetle damage that usually weakens them so much in the spring. The cover needs to be removed when they flower, for pollination.

Last summer I experimented with using row covers to combat flea beetle on my eggplants and squash vine borer on my zucchini (see this post).  The eggplant experiment worked well but the zucchini on found that the row covers were ineffective.  This summer, I used the row covers for the eggplants again with the same excellent results and have tried something new with the zucchini.  While perusing the seed catalogs, I came across a zucchini that was self-pollinating (no insects required) and decided to try it, even though it was not organic seed.  I planted the seeds under a large row cover and am now getting zucchini.  They seem to get very woody if they are allowed to get large, but I like to pick them small, so it hasn’t been a problem.  I’ll update this at the end of the season.

Here's my tented zucchini.  It looks a little weird, but if I get good zukes all summer, it's worth it.

Here’s my tented zucchini. It looks a little weird, but if I get good zukes all summer, it’s worth it.

This is the self pollinating zucchini at about 6" long.  I will keeping it under cover to try and combat the squash vine borer.

This is the self pollinating zucchini at about 6″ long. I will keeping it under cover to try to combat the squash vine borer.

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