Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Bugs Are Winning

I am dismayed to report that I've had to pull all but one lonely squash plant out of the garden thanks to the destructive squash vine borer bugs that claimed my crop last year as well. I have harvested but one sad zucchini and I think that will probably be the sum of all my hard work on a total of 24 squash plants. I planted my crop this year so that I'd have easy access to all the plants so I could daily inspect them for the telltale eggs on the undersides of the leaves so I could get rid of the pests before they hit the larva stage and bored into the vine itself. I did that and still the plants were ruined. I think the larva were overwintering in the soil and I didn't till it well enough and they were able to access the plants at a much younger stage because they came from the soil instead of eggs on the leaves.


So far the cucumbers are looking okay. I'm pulling a few off those plants every day, so I think they're still healthy. I think the heat killed my snap peas, but I'll live. The carrots and green onions are doing great and I've almost harvested all the lettuce which has been delicious. We've got herbs going in to replace the lettuce, so at least that part of the garden is having good turnover.

The tomatoes. Damn tomatoes. The plants are doing great and the cherry tomatoes are growing like crazy, but I'm having an issue with little green caterpillar/worm things that are ruining the foliage and boring into the tomatoes themselves. I tried organic solutions, but nothing was working, so I did some research and found that Sevin pesticides don't penetrate the plant membrane and as long as you follow the directions on recommended time between applications and recommended time between application and harvest (in this case, 3 days) it has no effect on the plant or the fruit. So that's a relief. I applied a TON of the stuff yesterday so we'll see if I can win one for the people. It's infuriating to deal with.

Our crepe myrtle tree out front has a chronic infestation of aphids that really is impossible to control. Even if I spray the tree with bug killer, I have to get absolutely every single last stupid bug because they reproduce so quickly that if I leave even one tiny aphid behind, it'll spread to the rest of the tree within 48 hours. I wouldn't give a crap but they excrete this waste called "honeydew" that looks like soot and coats the leaves and bark with greasy black nasty. I hate looking out my front window at it and washing it off is a pain in the ass. So the aphids have won that battle - all I do is hope for rain (hah!) to wash the honeydew off the leaves and try to ignore them.

But the tomatoes? Seriously? I just want my tomatoes to be okay. Eat my squash, fine, but leave my tomatoes alone.

Stupid bugs.

1 comment:

Misty said...

Stupid nursery told me my crepe myrtle had mold and I just needed to clean it and then coat it in vegetable oil. Now I know better, we're also suffering from an infestation of aphids over here. &^%$%^


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