Thursday, June 16, 2016

Squash: The Struggle is Real

Squash bug eggs. Squash them! 

Summer squash is no easy vegetable to grow down South. With more than one enemy it's close to a miracle to get any. Too cold/cool and they will not germinate. Lying in wait in the soil, perp #2, are squash borers who bore into the main stem and surreptitiously suck the life out of the plants from the  inside out. The parents a bright orange and black flying critter too quick to kill are a sure sign of trouble. Squash bugs, perp #3, look like brown marmorated stink bugs. They lay clusters of down eggs on the tops and undersides of squash leaves. Their nymphs are light grey and black which suck  on young fruit until they wither and die. Perp #4 is powdery mildew. Spred by spores it thrives in warm humid weather. Like I said, it's a wonder Southerner gardeners ever get any squash. I kill all squash bugs I see and look for egg clusters which I crush. I pick all wilty leaves, a sign of squash borers and pick off leaves with powdery mildew. A daily chore, I know I will inevitably lose. I also know it is worth the trouble to have them grilled, stuffed, sautéed or casseroled for dinner. Be brave and carry on!

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