The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

My kind friend Maxie watered my garden for a week while I was away. Thanks to her help, my garden survived that Stage 2 drought. But even Maxie’s sweet sweet Garden Whispering couldn’t save it from a barrage of pest ridiculousness. As I surveyed the damage, I wanted to hammer out a little Ball of Rage post about how stupid Nature is being. But then I realized that no one’s going to read this thing if I always sound like some kind of sullen pre-teen. After all, if I had a penny for every time I de-friended someone on Facebook for posting status updates that make me want to call the Waa Waa Waambulance, I’d have enough money to buy a box of Pop Tarts.

So here it is: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…

THE GOOD:

PEPPERS ARE HAPPENING

My Sweet Peas look like a bunch of hippies

After weeks of exposure and extreme gross negligence, my 10 asparagus roots got planted. I had assumed they were way past dead. SURPRISE SURVIVAL! These beauties keep popping up like little presents. I’m trying not to step on them, but I am bad at sports (i.e. most forms of coordination), so no promises.

No new cases of wilting tomatoes! Plus, the wilted one that I left is miraculously still making a delicious tomato. Thanks, Wilty.

SPINACH FOREST!

We had abandoned all hope of enjoying our summer squash after the invasion of the vine borers, but we came home to 3 chewable-sized treats.

Would you believe it?! The zucchini survived the squash vine borer and subsequent borer-removal surgery (on the left). What resilient and forgiving plants.

THE BAD:

RETURN OF THE VINE BORERS. While one of my zucchini plants is thriving post-surgery, its buddies were looking a little bit sucky (see the previous picture, right). Closer inspection showed that the little buggers were back… or were missed the first time. Since they were already damaged, this second shot at cutting open the stem to pluck out the grubs severed the plants from their main root systems. I buried the stumps in compost and crossed my fingers. LESSON LEARNED: If you’re cutting open to get at squash vine borer, you might as well be thorough the first time even if it means risking unnecessary damage to the plant. Likely, more borers than you think are hiding in the stem and you will only have to cut it open again later.

The dreaded cucumber beetle is all up in my grill. Don’t be fooled by the fancy stripes, this guy is NOT cool or fun. More on this later.

(THIS JUST IN: I now reign victorious over the cucumber beetles! Click here for the update)

Now, I’m no food critic, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to eat these tomatoes. They look like they got into a laser fight while I was gone. Since I left, they’ve developed open, black-rimmed scars on their undersides. More on this later, too.

(THIS JUST IN: the laser-tomato problem is called Catfacing! Click here for the update)

THE UGLY:

hahahahahhhahahahahahah

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7 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. Yay garden! I think your tomatoes would be ok to eat? That happens with the heirlooms a lot. The ripeness might be more of an issue tho 😉
    What is that squash??

    • Hey Maxie! Thanks again for keeping our plants alive. Can we host you for dinner soon as a thank you? Gabe would be welcome, too, of course. The funny-looking squash is a tromboncino courgette- despite how weird it looks, we ate that particular one for dinner last night and it was delicious (even though it looked like I was roasting Gonzo from the Muppet Show). Yeah, I really regretted pulling those tomatoes out! My first instinct was to pull them out in case they had some kind of infection (at worst) or (at least) were an unnecessary drain on the plant’s energy/resources. I’m going to let the other ones grow and just eat around the nasty bits! How is your community garden coming along?

      • Saul! I forgot to check for a reply 🙂 Please do have me over for dinner!! 😀
        Not sure how my community garden is doing…I should go check it out soon! Maybe tonight before I leave….
        Any changes of heart on coming to BC????? There’s still time to make it!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    • Oh no! Poor zucs 😦 From what I’ve read, your attack should be twofold: make sure there are no larvae waiting in the soil, and stop adult vine borers from laying more eggs on your new plants. General consensus is that you should till your soil where your zucs were- about an inch down in the soil is where the little cocoons (if they’re there) will overwinter. Expose and kill the critters. Also, it might not be a bad idea to plant next year’s zucs somewhere new. When you’re planting out your seedlings in the spring, floating row covers are recommended but if you find them unsightly, you can cut up pieces of row cover and wrap them around the base of the plant’s stem, since the adults fly around and lay the eggs where the stem meets the soil. If you take this approach, you have to make sure the wrapping covers the stem just below the soil, and you will have to keep adding more as the plant grows. Lots of work! Also, I tried your courgette recipe last night- it was good, but the lemon was too overpowering for us. It was a hit overall, but next time we will use less lemon… and cut them into “pound-coin-thickness strips” and NOT “the shape of pound coins!”. Haha. Love you xoxoxox

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