Monday, July 9, 2012

i hate squash bugs

I like to think I am a pretty laid back person when it comes to my garden. I frequently let weeds overtake the place, I don't spray chemicals, I mainly hope for the best. But, the squash bugs this year are seriously killing me. I have had to get rid of 3 of my 4 winter squash plants. Not a happy camper about that. Not to mention my cucumbers are just about dead due to the lovely combination of cucumber beetles and squash bugs.


Oh there they are!  In all their glory.  Everyday I seem to pull off at least 20 of these suckers.  My favorite part is how they just like to get their groove on with no care in the world that people are watching.  That one at the bottom was also connected to the other two...until he noticed me coming and quickly scampered away.  Perhaps he is new to the party and is still a little shy.  The other two, however, stayed connected as I flicked them into a cup and stayed together right until the bitter end as I drowned them.  Apparently it is the way to go though!  Most of the squash bugs I have killed have gone this way :-)


I am still quite hopeful that squash will actually grow.  We will have to see what happens of course!  Even if I can get one, I will be happy.  These plants were planted by seed, into a hill, during my very short growing season.  After I planted them, we were hit with about 2 weeks straight of rain.  The plant seems to be growing, but I don't think there will be enough time for the squash to fully mature.  Perhaps our growing season will be extended, and we will have a very late frost date this year!



My sweet bell peppers are doing exceptionally well.  I don't think I have ever been able to pick sweet peppers the second week in July before...maybe I have, but I don't think so.  These I planted in an earth box.  I really can't say enough good things about them.  The only drawback I see is that you have to purchase the box, and then you have to make sure you have the potting soil to fill them.  It tends to get a little expensive.  But, considering I don't have to weed these, I have never had anything die in them, and they produce relatively well, I keep going with it.  I plan to pick the larger peppers this week to *hopefully* encourage more growth for the rest of the plants.



My tomatoes are doing just OK.  There are a few green tomatoes, and a lot of flowers, but the plants are seriously stunted.  I think that the extended rain, followed by extended dry really isn't working for them.  I have had to clip a lot of the branches that have turned yellow, and it pains me to do so.  I am hoping they will bounce back.  It is by no means the end of tomato season, in fact, it is still extremely early to have tomatoes at all, but I am counting on these tomatoes to provide me a large amount of canned goods for the winter.  I already know I will most likely need to buy more tomatoes from the farm I typically buy bulk canning tomatoes from, but it would be nice to grow enough myself.  Maybe someday!


I have planted green beans 3 times since the summer has started.  These are the first plants to actually start growing.  I don't know if it is because of the location that I am planting them, or if it is because every time I plant something it rains and rains and rains for days on end.  I think green beans are my favorite vegetable to freeze.  I feel like it doesn't really affect the taste, and that makes me happy.  Plus, they are super easy to throw into stir fries and fried rice, yum!

I am happy with how the garden is doing, although it isn't doing as well as I had hoped.  I'm sure that eventually I will get to a place where I will have enough time to dedicate to weeding, and also have enough knowledge as to what plants to plant together, and which to plant away from each other.  I also have beets growing quite well, lettuce, my garlic is doing great, and I have pulled a couple carrots to make sure they really are growing purple carrots, and they are.  I guess if I have learned anything, it is that organic farming is difficult.  I hope to make a lot of changes for next year, but they are things I can't do until the fall.  So until then, I will continue to hope for the best, and work on the things that I know how to get right.

How is your garden growing these days?  Any bugs that are giving you incredible amounts of trouble?  I have to say that the dish soap/water mixture works really well on squash bugs, but every day I seem to kill all of them, just to have a new batch come the next day.  Oh, and my chickens aren't as pleased about them as I thought they would be...perhaps it is the smell - yuck!

I am linking up at the barn hop!  Can't wait to see what everyone else is up to!

14 comments:

  1. I have squash bugs too, yours are very mature. I have to turn over my leaves almost daily and peel off the eggs- the darker the more mature the eggs are. Even with this, I found the grey nymphs yesterday and I have to say I sprayed them. It was that or they would destroy all the squash like last year. Even the nymphs were larger. I saved some eggs in a plastic contained until they hatched to see how small they were and the hatchlings are teeny tiny- barely larger than a gnat so they can hide well. Good luck. It says not to mulch because the adults overwinter in it.

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    1. Yes! I keep scraping the eggs off the leaves too, I think I must have missed a lot of them. I didn't realize about the mulching. Will definitely have to fix that! I never had a problem with them before last year, and the totally destroyed every winter squash/summer squash/cucumber plant last year. I'm hoping to get a handle on it this year, not sure I am doing a great job :-)

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  2. Yuck....those bugs are really nasty but the rest of your garden looks fabulous! And, your peppers? Fabulous!

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  3. The squash bugs have killed every last zucchini and summer squash plant in my garden. I am so bummed. And mad. I've killed more than I can count by the squish method. And I've tried several deterrents with no luck. I've got a new concoction brewing to try though (in hopes of saving my cucumber plants and melons). It's 3 cups hot water, 7 cloves garlic, and 1 tbsp cayenne. Let it brew for 4 days, then strain and put in a sprayer. Wish me luck!

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  4. We just ripped out over half of our squash because of squash bugs! Last year we didn't have much of a problem with them, so it's been a major bummer. Not a single squash for us yet. I've started some more squash seedlings inside, so I'm hoping to get them to a decent size and then plant them out. We'll watch this batch VERY carefully to hopefully save them from squash bugs.

    I think it's super disappointing since squash is usually such a big producer in summer gardens.

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    1. I planted one zucchini plant in a pot, and none of the bugs seem to be bothering it...I would hate to have to only plant in pots, but I almost feel I am getting to that point. I don't have a whole lot of space to garden, so where it is now is about as much as I can do, and if all these eggs and pests are going to hang out all winter, it doesn't really give me much hope! Maybe I will try getting some of that cloth stuff for next year, and bringing in new soil :-)

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  5. Wow--yours is doing so much more than mine. :) Those bugs would definitely be irking me too--no fun to have to be dealing with those. My stuff is just now starting to grow, although I had to reseed the carrots, cucumbers, and green beans also. I think our garlic is about ready to harvest though and the blackberries are coming on strong (of course)! PS I started a new blog....

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    1. Our garlic is close, but what do I know, I've never actually grown garlic :-) Thanks for letting me know about your new blog! Hope you are doing well!

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  6. I think those bugs are Chinese Stink Bugs, and yes, they do stink if crushed. They also release a chemical that will attract MORE of them when crushed. They have just about destroyed my tomatoes this year. I have been using a combo of dishwashing detergent, spraying them off with a water hose, picking them off with gloves and dropping in a cup of soapy water, and after I picked a 1.5 pound tomato that was rotton in the middle from these things, I gave up and sprayed some. All the relatives must have come for the funerals, cause it seemed like there were more the next day.

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    1. No wonder I have so many then! I had been squishing them like crazy until the smell started to get to me, it is this weird sweet smelling yuck that I couldn't stand after awhile. Now I flick them into a cup and drown them, along with any eggs I find and scrape off the leaves :-)

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  7. I am sorry to say I don't remember where I read this, but I am trying something new this year to deter these pesky bugs. I read that if you plant radishes around the squash plant and not harvest them, but let the plant grow big, that will deter squash bugs.
    My plants are not very big yet, so I don't know how well this will work. Keep your fingers crossed.

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  8. I hate bugs that eat up my garden to! So far we've been lucky! I hope I don't jinx myself by saying that! LOL! We'd love it if you'd share this at our Home is Where the Heart is! http://www.homesteadsimple.com/home-is-where-the-heart-is-link-it-up-wednesdays-1/
    and any other posts you'd like to share that have to do with homesteading and homemaking!

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