Who’s Been Eating My Veggies?

We now harvest tomatoes and cucumbers daily. And while I freeze and pickle as fast as I can, we’ve started putting together bags for Jim’s golfing buddies. No one’s told us to stop yet…

On the plus side, we have lovely cantaloupe ripening. We read information from a multitude of .edu websites and I checked-in with my master gardener friend, Lenora. Cantaloupe are ripe when they slip off the vine. So true. I picked one up last week and it literally fell into my hands.

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Then came the acid test. Yum! We get pretty good melons from the Farmer’s Market, but not like this…

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On the down side, I’ve fed an entire generation of butterflies or moths – or so it seems. Just look!

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I’ve had enormous difficulty with “cole” vegetables this year, including lettuce, radicchio, and broccoli. I have some ornamental kale – same family – and the leaves look like lace. I feel a little like Mama Bear: Who’s been eating my broccoli?

Tomorrow night I’m going to a class on garden pests, and I’m looking forward to finding out what to do to prevent this from happening again next year.

Watching my zinnias has been fun, especially looking for different kinds of butterflies. But I found this little hopper on my zinnias the other day. Not so happy to see him.

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Last but not least, I found hundreds of what I can only imagine to be squash beetles swarming – yes, swarming – over my Delicata squash plants. I ran for the camera but by the time I got back, nary a one. Hmmm…

The squash still on the vine seem okay, but the vines are dying back. The University of Colorado has some interesting things to say about squash bug management, including using less rather than more mulch. I plan to relocate the squash and melons next year, so that may help solve the problem.

My hope for next year? Better understanding of what to do about insects so that I get to eat more of what I plant.

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10 thoughts on “Who’s Been Eating My Veggies?

  1. Thank you for the link on the Squash bugs. I have been thinking of getting an insecticide for treating them as I just noticed their presence in my garden a few days ago. If you have a recommendation as to what I should spray on them I would appreciate the info!

    • Hi Mike – thanks for stopping by. The University of Colorado offers several suggestions, and if I learn something specific to Kansas tomorrow evening, I’ll let you know.

    • Squash Bugs are true bugs, which means the adults have a waxy cuticle that repels insecticides. The best approach is hand-crushing the eggs and nymphs. Some people report success that a ‘sacrificial’ zucchini planted in a far-away location several weeks before you plant the squash–at which time the squash bugs will already be dining on your zucchini.

      • Hand crushing the eggs is exactly what the University of Colorado suggested. Oh dear. Hand crushing may take some psyching up for me! Another EMG friend suggested trying diatomaceous earth mixed with water.

  2. Oh, dear, squash bugs. They swoop down so suddenly and my crops are absolutely done in without a whimper. I’ve tried the step-on-’em technique, but their numbers won out. Like you, I re-located them the following year and that seemed to work, but maybe they just found another garden to destroy… Nice attitude toward the caterpillars…preventive sevin works for most of those little biters. There is so much to learn in the garden—isn’t it great??

    • You are so right about how much there is to learn! I’m glad I got to eat some squash before the little critters attacked! I went to a pest management class last night – the presenter, a professor at K State, suggested vacuuming them. I may have to give it a try.

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