Bugs and disease

I have an invasion of the worst kind.

ImageMy garden has squash bugs and so far I’ve lost four scallop squash plants and two zucchini plants. A cucumber vine is looking a wee bit on the pathetic side but I don’t know yet if it’s squash bugs or something else.

Squash bugs are nasty little things. I spotted the egg clusters first and, never having had a squash bug invasion before, really didn’t know what they were.

ImageBut I smushed them any way, purely on the principle that if I don’t immediately recognize the bug (or the eggs), it can’t be good for my plants.

And I was right.

My poor garden is having a really rough year. My tomatoes were hit hard with early blight and I’ve been battling it since spring when we had too much rain and not enough warm sunshine. I think at least two plants are done for. I think my potatoes have been stricken with it, too. I dug up a potato plant with my hand over the weekend just to see what I could see and plunged right into a stinking, rotten, soupy mass of slimy potato sludge. Ugh. Same disease that hit the Irish potato crop that cause the an Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger, or, as it’s more commonly known, The Great Potato Famine) in the mid 1800s. I see why they starved, there is no way anyone could even consider eating that mess of rot.

My poor garden is suffering from an overgrowth of weeds and right now, there’s not a whole lot I can do about it. I’ve been working 12+ hours a day for the past three weeks, which leaves just enough time to sleep and say hi to my family in passing. I’ve managed to get up early a couple of times to get a few things done in the gardens and around the property, but not nearly enough. This weekend I have plans to get all caught up, but I’m not terribly optimistic.

On a positive note, the green/wax beans are extremely prolific this year. I picked part of one row last weekend and canned 7 quarts with about 1 quart of raw beans left over. And I know there are tons more out there to pick! We might not have a decent potato and tomato crop this year, but we are going to be up to our eyeballs in beans.

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