Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Squashed 2011!

Squashed.  My garden that is.  Completely and utterly squashed by the ugly little insects known as squash bugs.  So much for my great experiment in planting by the phases of the moon using the Farmer's Almanac!  Planting by the moon didn't help our garden out (even before the squash bug invasion) at all.  The transfer from seedling pots to the garden was too late to get a decent harvest for us.  The almanac said that we could transfer in June, but from now on we will transplant no later than Memorial Day Weekend.  Planting in the ground in June just didn't give the plants enough time to weatherize/establish their roots/and become sturdy before the real heat of summer arrived in full swing.  Combine the late planting with a massive squash bug infestation and our garden was a major bust this year.
These little bugs "squashed" my garden. :(
We did get some things from it, but none of the tomatoes, squash (butternut, yellow, zucchini), watermelon, pumpkin, or cantaloupe that I dreamed of in the Spring.  We harvested all of 5 cucumbers before the squash bugs moved on to kill those plants before I realized what was going on and it was too late.  Our tomatoes grew, but the fruits didn't ripen in time due to being planted too late and the deluge of rain we had toward the end of the summer (Tropical Storms Irene and Lee).  They rotted on the vines still mostly green.  I planted a few potato plants to see how our land did with them and was pleasantly surprised we got a decent harvest of them!  They were delicious, too!  We also got one ear of corn before Tropical Storm Irene hit and demolished all of our corn stalks and A.R. just harvested our carrots yesterday.  We had to harvest them to save them from the bunnies!  So far, the harvest looks pretty decent.

Okay, as I type this and am reading about what we did harvest from our garden, maybe it wasn't a total bust.  We just didn't have anything of the squash variety and we have a dozen gorgeous giant sunflowers to look at right now just like this one:

Next year, we'll buy our tomato plants already started as we have had no luck in getting ripe tomatoes from seeds I start myself.  Also, we'll be tilling and fertilizing this fall in addition to adding some Sevin to the soil to kill the squash bugs.  I had hoped to stay organic and not have to use pesticides, but I feel okay doing one treatment in the fall, burning the plants we do have that have the squash bug eggs on them, and then not planting any squash type plants in the spring for one season.  I've read tons on how to get rid of an infestation and it can be rather difficult, so this is the route we'll take.  I'm going to ask my in-law's if I can plant a few squash plants at their house next year in exchange for garden space at our house, so we'll hopefully get some cukes, squash, and pumpkins.


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