Monday, June 28, 2010

Squash and pests

Last week was quite a week in the garden. Besides not getting any rain, we have had a fungus on our squash and an invasion of squash vine borers. I guess problems of this kind seem to creep up on you. The fungus we found we could handle pretty easily. The squash vine borers have really taken their toll.

We sprayed for the fungus with Organicide and the fungus is much better. It became a problem because of the hot and humid weather and that seemed to be getting better. Then we noticed a different problem. Some of the vines seemed to be just turning over and wilting.

At first, we decided it was just the fungus but as we read more about the problem, we realized that while the fungus was a problem, the real problem was squash vine borers. Many of the vines had small holes, cracks and sometimes a brown crusty substance that I later found was the waste of the vine borer as they traveled through the hollow stems. It was kind of horrible, and fascinating, at the same time. I felt like it was invasion of the body snatchers, but in the insect world.

So, my sister and I sat in the garden slitting the vines with a sharp knife and pulling out the invading worms. I will tell you that every worm I pulled from the vines didn't make it out alive. I wasn't about to give them the opportunity to go back to the vines or form a cocoon to come back and attack my next year's crop.

It took me hours, and some of the plants look pretty good, and then others look almost dead.

I think so many people get discouraged when something like this happens and just give up. I am disappointed, but I think planting more squash and watching them more carefully and washing with insecticidal soap. I know we need more squash so I have no choice but to keep on trying.