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, they 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 than a few dead plants. And though my garden may be dwindling my relationship and knowledge grows.