Seedybeans Blog

Celebrating the Humble Harvests of High Desert Homesteading

Pesky old pests!

Well my friends, I sure am not feeling like any garden expert at these days, this blog has humorously turned from my garden guidence to my garden woes.  In a ‘normal’ July I would be harvesting summer squash, tomatoes, greens and cucumbers by now, but this year my garden has suffered, greatly I am afraid. Betweeen having a baby, it being the driest year ever and maybe just bad luck, things have perished before my very eyes.  My Cabbage and Kale are lace, tomatoes have fried in the sun and literally disappeared, many things have simply not grown and now squash bugs are taking over!!!

Baby Squash bugs are bright green with black legs

Plants, well all life,  suffer when conditions are rough and weak plants make easy targets for disease and pests.  Creating cushy conditions for these high needs vegetables is a gardeners job here in the High Desert and if you are not able, defeat comes quickly.  But not yet, I have been up every morning while baby sleeps in, bless him, and have killed hundreds of squash bugs and eggs by hand.  Consistent but disconcerted, as every morning there seems to be more and more…and not just on the squash, but the are now they are laying and hatching on my tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, apples, and even Calendula!!

Squash bugs eggs on the under side of apple leaves!!

I have yet to see them hurt any of these plants, but they know where I am looking, on the squash of course, so they have sought shelter elsewhere, smart little buggers.

Squash Bugs eggs on Tomatoes leaf!!

They are overwhelming me, but I have a family to feed and I am determined to get some bounty out of this land, so I am simply persistent and as I try to save one crop, I am already dreaming up what I will plant next.

Spinach seed I saved this season and will plant for a fall harvest

This morning I was out hunting my prey and it was considerably less work, my plants looked strong and seemed to be making a come back!!  I owe this to many things, the first is diligence, you must know the old saying, “The best fertilizer is a farmers footstep”, well same goes here.  Everything thrives with a little attention.  I also did some actual fertilizing with Fish Emulsion and Super Thrive, (store-bought organic fertilizers) 2 days ago and my plants sure seemed to like the little extra vitamin kick to help them fight a good fight.  I am also seeing these clouds roll in and as dropless as they have been over my garden, they give the plants a reprieve from that beating sun and help them stay perky and strong.  The other thing I noticed; is while the acorn squash is pretty much done for, the Hubbard I planted from seed I saved from a gorgeous Gemini Farm squash we got a the market last year, is thriving!! No fruit yet, but no squash bugs either!! I could try to sneak in another planting of the strong varieties this season, but I think I will just keep it all in mind for next year.  I think paying attention and of course remembering what we learn and using it in the future is key to gardening and life of course, living and learning and taking it in stride and of course not giving up!!  Any varieties you know of are proving more resilient to Squash Bugs this year, can I have some seeds for next year?


1 Comment»

  Carrie Jo wrote @

Bugger! Literally!
Next year, try using Biodynamic 500 and 501, and the compost preps, I promise you will see more balance.
We have 0 pests this year, I believe,
because of the Preps being used year after year. XOX

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