Thursday, August 20, 2009


You know when you have those days that you feel you are failing as a parent, when the children are being so awful, and you wonder why, knowing darn well anything they do 'wrong' is ultimately a result of something you did or didn't do ( at least according to all experts).....and it just makes you want to throw your hands up and quit caring? Or cry?

Well today I have failed the garden, or at least feel that I have. Do they have Garden Protective Services?? They should, LOL!

THE DREADED SQUASH VINE BORER! I had stopped checking for eggs thinking it was too late in the season. Wrong. Stopped spraying Dead Bug at the base of the plants. Big mistake. This morning I went out to give the plants a drink of fish emulsion and discovered the destruction. Now here's the thing: I planted Hubbards as a lure, I planted the squash a few weeks late in an attempt to avoid the buggers, AND I planted Butternut as a back-up. Well don't you know I have no fruit formation on either the Hubbard or Butternut and the damn borers have left them alone, so much for the sacrificial Hubbard and back-up Butternut. Below are my poor squash babies, their demise likely just days away. One Delicata, one Acorn.

I did have foil under a couple of the plants, and from what I can tell they have not been bored yet, but I will not get my hopes up as the larva are clearly just getting started. I stuck pins through the bases of the plants with the tell tale "saw dust" at the openings. The plastic mulch over the bed doesn't allow for any mid-vine root formation. Double edged-sword as it seems to be the thing that has allowed these plants to mature in a timely manner.

So, to sum it all up I have a garden suffering from Late Blight and Squash Vine Borers, and it has mainly gone undiscovered and untreated due to neglect. My days have been filled with too much running around, beach going, and hiding from the heat of the sun, and not enough time spent peering closely at every plant watching for any sign of pest and disease that has settled in. And of course the morning was spent dealing with the borers instead of spraying the tomatoes, so now they will go another day with out protection from flying blight spores. If I don't spray them tonight someone please come through cyberspace and slap me OK?


Ruralrose said...

This is gardening. You have worked so hard, just because the little critters have claimed you food doesn't mean you didn't grow it well. This is an extremely tough situation you are in, with the summers weather. Some years will be tougher than others, and each year the yields from each crop will be different. Success comes from unseen places, know you did your best, and let it go. The experience is valuable, and each "loss" can be replaced by a "win" if we allow that win to come the unseen too. For example maybe squash will be really cheap at the farmer's market and you will be helping a poor person by purchasing them from her. You are doing such a great job, this is the nature of the beast, don't let it get you down. Peace for all

Erin said...

Garden Protective Services, LMAO! I didn't have borers, but I had bacterial wilt on my squash, so I don't have any either this year! But I must admit it felt good to rip out that jungle and start with a fresh space for fall. What surprised me was the squash bugs this year. Never saw them before (but never planted squash before) and I had HUNDREDS! I don't think I am planting squash next year, too many problems to deal with in 100 degree heat, and saps the fun out of the whole deal, lol!

Thomas said...

Oh the drama that is gardening. :)Your first paragraph made me laugh as I have a toddler and can totally relate. Your picture of the squash vine with pins in it reminds me of the little stuffed voodoo dolls you see in gift shops. Maybe you can stick a few more in this evening a wish for demise of the dreaded vine borer!

Kelly said...

Thomas- LOL, I was thinking the same thing this morning, it's crazy squash voodoo!

Erin- Yeah, can't say I blame you there. If I have another year of 12 squash plants and zero squash I will be giving that portion up as well. We just eat so much winter squash I would love to grow a variety to store for winter. Why couldn't the little buggers eat my zucchini instead?!?

RuralRose- thanks for the kind words and encouragement! I hear your words and know each year will bring new challenges, I will try better to not get discouraged.

Beegirl said...

We had luck with our zucchini this year and I think is only because my mom wrapped the stems of the seedlings with foil as she planted them in the ground. Wasn't sure if you wrapped the stems? Sorry to hear about your squash too.

Kelly said...

I wrapped foil on the ground/around the plants, but they were sown from seed. Wonder if still could have wrapped the stem? I will try it next year, thanks for the tip.