Tuesday, July 21, 2009

garden nemesis

(imagine jaws music)
no it isn't the boy getting into trouble.
aah, SqUaSh bUgS!!!

these disgusting little creatures invaded our garden last year & killed off our crook-neck & butternut squash before we could enjoy an insane amount of the yummies.

so when we planted our garden this year, we had a plan.
we designed our garden to try to isolate the squash bugs to one area. we planted pumpkins at one end of the garden (the little creeps strike there first). then, we planted the yummies as far away in the garden as possible.
we have been checking the plants every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times. there were some days that there were no little creeps to be found. other days...the air stunk for a little while (messy job, but very necessary).
we thought that we were doing pretty good. our plan was working.
then last friday afternoon i started my routine check, & much to my dismay my pumpkin wasn't looking so hot. rather, it was looking fried. the leaves were whilty and curled.
our garden is on a water timer, much easier.
jed had mentioned that he was going to lesson the watering so that our tomato plants would stop growing & start ripening (they are huge).

so, i got a bucket of water. i began to carefully pour the water onto the parched pumpkin.
attack of the squash bugs ensued. obviously they don't like water.
a hoard of the little creeps began to climb from the underside of the plant to escape drowning. after a moment of surprised panic, i began my frenzied attack. the air stunk, had i won the battle?

that evening we went to check the pumpkin. had the water helped? it still looked terrible. we found more bugs.
jed decided to try spraying the leaves with soapy water.
it reminded me of the movie signs. the invincible aliens who had come to destroy mankind had one major downfall, water.
squash bugs can be killed with soapy water. not sure how bad for the plants it is, but it was our last hope.
the nice part is, no stink.

but, to much dismay, our little pumpkin hasn't recovered. heat and creeps is a bad combo.
now the bugs have moved on to the yummies. we find more bugs and evidence that they were there each day. the leaves are laden with eggs.
i hope that we can win this battle. i want to eat squash until i turn yellow!

1 comment:

  1. Yuck! I am so sorry! When Jacob was little, he loved squash bugs. He'd hold them between his thumb and forefinger and he'd squash them. It would stain his fingers orange. It was gross.

    I found this website. It might have some useful tips like putting a piece of wood by the plant to see if they go there in the heat, and then you can kill 'em. Good luck.



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