Friday, July 31, 2015

Fall seven times, stand up eight

Y'all know the struggle I've had growing squash this summer.  My first plants were planted and grown organically, with no pesticides and they were promptly gobbled up by the squash vine borer, a devil I knew nothing about.  I cried a little bit and then I pulled myself up by my bootstraps (and my dead squash babies up by their roots) and I learned.  I studied.  I researched and I tried again.  I tried everything this time.  I used Diatomaceous Earth, I wrapped panty hose around the stems, I set yellow bowl traps of water to drown the mamas, I tried everything that I read about.  Surely they wouldn't get me this time!  

They did, though.  They got me.   And I got mad.  I got me some Sevin Dust and for a few minutes looked just like Joan Crawford with her can of Comet.

I threw that stuff everywhere. The heck with organic.  The heck with natural.  I wanted to grow squash, by whatever means necessary.  It was that serious, y'all.  

My war on the squash borer had taken a bad, bad turn.

Larry thinks I'm insane.  He thinks I should have given up and just gotten squash at the produce stand, at Kroger even, for goodness' sake.  But it's not about having squash.  It's about growing squash.  I wanted my own.  I wanted some like my daddy grew every summer of my life.  And I'm a middle-aged Southern woman.  That's what we do in the summertime, right?  We dig in the dirt and we grow stuff.

I was able to catch the new infestation early but it took work.  It took meticulously checking every single leaf every single day, pulling gobs of new eggs off the undersides ('cause these heifers are sneaky), alternating DE or Sevin after I watered everything in the evenings, even catching a Mama Squash Borer in the freakin' act one day, right there IN FRONT OF ME, and smooshing her right then and there.  And praying.  I prayed a lot over these squash.  I did lose one plant but after my Sevin/Comet hissy fit, the only actual borers I saw (they look like grub worms) were dead ones.  

I've had my eye on this one for several days now.  It has rained and then been really sunny and rained again every day so the weather has been perfect for growing squash, for growing anything for that matter.  My tomatoes have been doing great (except for the six beautiful red juicy ones that a mouse got but that's a whole 'nother story), the cucumbers are still going strong and we've got more peppers than we can eat.

This one was ready today.  In all its beautiful golden, plump glory. 

I wonder if anybody's ever called a taxidermist to stuff a squash before. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Jesus, for this one, sumptuous squash! Now, just maybe, the corner has been turned on how to overcome these persistent plant killers. LARRY