Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Squashed

Lots of gardening has been going on over here... I really am taking this year as a "trial and error" kind of a year... Looking to see what grows best (even though, I'm certain that'll change each year depending on how much water we get and temperatures), what doesn't work out, and flavors (narrow down the variety that I have this year, next year). So far, our tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and peppers have grown beautifully and we've gotten lots from each. Although, I wish we had more beans. The watermelons continue to grow. Peas were doing alright for awhile, but then the heat came, and completely ZAPPED them... as well as the beets, spinach and kale. I'm hoping to plant some spinach and kale in a week or two, to try again, since we should be getting some cooler temperatures. We'll see how that goes. It could be a possible lesson learned. Our squashes were sort of a bust... sort of. I noticed the butternut squashes weren't doing well. They were completely browning and looked like they had been eaten... and then I noticed that the zucchini plants were starting to head in the same direction. I took out my magnifying lens (not really, but humor me), and started to look closely at the plants to see what was happening... cue, squash bugs.

yuck.

filthy.

squash bugs.














I immediately wrote my sister to see what she recommended I do, to save my zucchini (I have tons of beautiful blossoms, and even 1 zucchini that's growing), as she is the gardening extraordinare. With her advice, and some help from Google... I managed to put together a "plan" to squash these bugs.

Some people recommended insecticide... but because I'm trying to keep all chemicals off this garden, I opted for the less invasive approach. Not to mention, even those who used insecticide still had squash bugs in their garden... they're invincible or something to insecticide. So I decided to use the jars and rubbing alcohol route. All you have to do.. is pick them off, and throw them into your jar filled with alcohol. No kidding... these guys died. I sat there for nearly 1.5 hours and picked every living, breathing bug off my plants, and threw them in the jars...














The phrases that I uttered, "die bug die.." "Those are MY vegetables... get off of them..." "DIE" "I've got you filthy little sucker... you're going to die..." Oh dear. Someone would have had a field trip just watching me squash these little guys... but squash them, I did.

And then, comes the second phase of getting rid of the bugs... eliminate their eggs hiding under the leaves...














This was probably the grossest part of it all... and there were TONS of eggs under the leaves... many leaves were sacrificed... but it was all to keep my plants healthy... and so far, so good. I've gone back and have only captured a few in the past few days. Seems like it was the best way to go with the plants, instead of giving up on them altogether.



Now, I'm looking forward to harvesting a few zucchinis... after all, I sure did work for them.
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5 comments:

  1. I tried a bush variety of yellow squash and zucchini this year. They were supposed to grow well in a large tomato cage. I've gotten a pretty good harvest---about 6 from each plant (that's good, right?). My only complaint is that they still grew over the side of the barrel and crawled across the gross. Oh well!

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    1. That sounds amazing piper!!! I think I might have to try a large tomato cage next year... To keep them off the ground :)

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  2. I just ripped out all of my squash plants. They were doing great and I got tons from them. However, we kept finding scorpions (the most poisonous kind that can land young kids in the ER pretty easily) under the plants and on the underside of leaves, so I ripped them all out. Kind of bummed, but I didn't want to risk it. They were out. of. control. anyway. Like some of the vines were 10-15 ft long and creeping everywhere. Next year I'm going to try to put those all racks around them to get them to grow up instead of out.

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    1. Scorpions!?!?! That's frightening !

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