I first noticed it when the leaves started to turn yellow. I looked and looked but could see no sign of them. I thought maybe it was the vine borer. If only I had planted butternut squash first! This lovely squash is not only delicious, but naturally resistant to the vine borer and therefore repels them. But, it was not the vine borer.
I finally saw the white bugs climbing all over the squash vines while looking for ripe fruit. I attacked them with the bug vacuum, probably looking (and sounding) like a crazy person as I flailed my arms and shouted.
This is truly a tragedy. Perhaps, if I had not been so overly confident in my prediction of an abundant future harvest, the squash bugs would have left my squash alone. We will never know. Next year, I will be more cautious in my exclamations.
On the flip-side, the cherry and apple trees in the swale are rocking it. We’ve had a nice rainy season so I’ve rarely had to water these. The swale is doing all of the work for me by slowly releasing the water into the berm after a soaking rain.
We won’t have fruit this year, but next year I’m hopeful that we’ll see a few cherries…if they survive the winter.
I found more strange squash in the tuber mound. It has overtaken the vine peach and choked out the okra I planted there. This is a volunteer…and I think it is more spacorn (spaghetti/acorn hybrid, pronounced “spay-corn” and accidentally created by yours truly), but it doesn’t have the marked ridges of spacorn so we might have another new variety!
Randomly, in the pumpkin bed that has been ravaged by the squash bugs, we have a couple stalks of corn growing. I’m not sure if it is seed from the
snowball popcorn I planted–dropped by birds or blown by wind–but it’s exciting to see something surviving the attack.
There are some teeny tiny watermelon growing in among the nasturtiums in the melon bed. For some reason, the melons never really grew too big. I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t growing. I felt frustrated.
Then, I looked back at a previous post and had a hand-smack-to-the-head moment. I planted sugar baby watermelon! It didn’t produce at all last year so I had forgotten that they stay small with 6-12 lb fruit ranging from 7-8.5” and perfectly round. They are very sweet, supposedly, so I am super excited to try them!
Speaking of teeny tiny, in our CSA pick-up this week, I received these three squash. Ray commented that it was pretty “bold” of them to put these in the mix, but they are actually a cute variety of squash good pan fried or added to an antipasto salad or platter.
And in the vineyard…the hops and the grapes continue to thrive.
The hop flowers are getting bigger and the grapevines are spreading out.
Our harvest one day this week: purple beans, cherry tomatoes, beets and black prince tomatoes. YUM!
A lone lilac grows
The other looks lonely, sad
Grow sweet lilac, grow