Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dwindling

So, my poor vegetable garden is becoming smaller and smaller as summer goes on. I sadly didn't get any photos of my poor squash to show how bad it got before Hubby throw it out but, in a way, I guess that's not such a bad thing.
You see, my sweet, beautiful squash got infested with stink bugs. It turns out that most organic pesticides don't work on the nasty buggers and to make things worse, the have few natural predators. We tried for a good month at controlling the spread of eggs and baby stink bugs but in the end, there was just no hope for the sad plant. We tried spraying the eggs with organic pesticide every day, scrapping the ones we saw off and putting them in soapy water along with any adults and baby stink bugs but in the end, more just kept coming and eventually got down to the root of my squash where they began to kill it from the base. The plant itself seemed healthy for the most part but by the root it was black and decaying. It was only a matter of time for the rest to start showing the effects, so we cut off the vines from the trellis, and tossed the whole plant. So, I'm thinking about planting another squash vine in hopes that it blooms before fall so that we get at least a small crop of them this fall.
Now we are being extra diligent at checking the cucumber and tomato plants for eggs and such. They seem to have decided that because the squash was gone, the next best thing was the cucumber. *sigh* I'm not giving up though and neither is Hubby. He is really starting to have quite a green thumb these days and even invested in some gardening gloves to remove the gross colonization (mostly because I can't stand the idea of touching a stink bug... even with gardening gloves on).
Over the past two days Hubby has already removed close to 60 stink bugs (not including the eggs) from the cucumbers and tomatoes. I just pray this time around that we can keep up with it and that no more of my crops get hindered. We are also looking into getting marigolds to plant all around my produce. I was told that they don't like those and it would help limit the amount of pests that come in.

If there is an upside to all of this it’s that I have grown a little as an organic gardener and learned something new and how to care for my plants better. In a way it has brought me and my husband closer and has given us something to do together and that is, I suppose, more valuable the a few dead plants. And though my garden may be dwindle my relationship and knowledge grows.

6 comments:

  1. I think you're incredibly persistent and I admire your determination. I gave up on ever having a successful garden YEARS ago. It DOES make me appreciate our local farmer's market more, tho. lol

    Maybe Alisa would have some suggestions for you, for next year. I'll ask her to read this. :)

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  2. Thank you so much. I real do try. I would love her advice! I'm sorry gardening didn't work out for you. I really understand now why organic food costs so much! It turns out that stink bus are one of the #1 causes of crop lost in organic produce, that is really sad but its nice to know I'm not alone in this.♥

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  3. This is Sandy posting as Alisa. It's late and I can't sleep. We discovered a neat trick for stink bugs, duct tape. Duct tape works great for peeling off clusters of eggs as well as dispatching the adults. And you don't have to touch the nasty buggers. It would help if you could move your garden plot, too.

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  4. Oh that IS cleaver! Thank you! I will definitely be trying that out, what a great idea!♥

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  5. Hiya Bethany, Coming a little late to the conversation. It really is discouraging to watch all your hard work and nurturing be decimated by squash bugs. My husband is right, the duct tape works really well but you have to be diligent. Once they get a foothold you might as well pack it in, harvest the vines and burn them to kill the buggers.

    Timing seems to play a key role. Some folks say that planting later may disrupt the cycle of squash bugs. We planted ours late--they are just starting to produce--and I am finding some eggs, but so far nothing like last year. Even experienced gardens have years where they just get out of hand.

    Some people collect squash bugs by placing boards in the garden under which the bugs collect overnight. A fast flipping and stomping can dispatch a bunch, but I find that if you have that many your are on borrowed time anyway.

    I applaud you for keeping organic, even the very toxic Seven Dust doesn't work on them anyway.

    You should have time to plant more if you want some before the frost. Keep trying! ~~Alisa

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  6. Thank you so much for the good advice. The diligence is paying off. After we got ride of the squash (which was fairly easy to be because we are container growing) I began watching the other plants like a hawk; plucking and killing all and any stink bugs I found. The first couple of days the Hubby and I were getting around 15-20 bugs off each go. Now, I am getting one, maybe, each day! It takes a lot of work going out there ever.single. day, but boy does it pay off. My tomatoes are blooming now and I have already had a ripe one off the vine! (just one though) and we are now enjoying our lettuce on just about everything!
    You guys are so helpful and thoughtful, thank you so much with your input and help. ♥

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