First, the bad news … Every single squash and zucchini plant (except one) in my garden is D.E.A.D. No photos. I couldn’t look at the withered leaves and the centipedes crawling all over the fruit. Ugh.
The corn? Practically flattened by a few days of strong, quick afternoon thunderstorms. They are propped back up with stakes and string, but I’m not sure they have much of a future. I feel like Ma in the Little House series when the thunderstorm has flattened the wheat or when the grasshoppers have eaten every green thing on the prairie and they aren’t sure what they are going to harvest this year. Luckily I can go the farmer’s market or the grocery store. Poor Ma must have battled some serious stress as a pioneer wife.
The green beans…notice they aren’t very green? And my cucumbers are at once bloated and anemic. We have a water issue. I guess the daily rains are not providing quite enough moisture the garden, so I got the hose out this morning for a good long meditative manual soaking. At least the unusual cool weather today is nice treat. It was just sixty degrees and a record low for Atlanta today. I’m sure this is a brief respite in all the standard southern summer heat.
Now, the good news … while buying some squash from my local farm stop, I was moaning about my sudden squash death and a friend of the farmer confided an important squash tip. Apparently, it’s a little known fact that in the South it’s very difficult to grow squash organically. The farm trick is to plant seedlings every two weeks so that when the vegetable flowers and fruits once, they can be harvested, then pulled and tossed on the compost pile. I felt so vindicated! For years I’ve been trying to baby my summer squash plants through the summer, each year feeling like a failure when they are simply gone one fine summer morning with no warning. Now instead of Ma, I’m feeling much more like Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow (or in my case, next spring) is another day!
UPDATE: Came across this excellent article for controlling squash bugs today … Excuse me while I grab some duct tape and head out to check my remaining squash plant…