Buggy. That’s how I would describe my garden right now.
Besides the hot weather and the squirrel that has somehow found a way to get into my garden (even with the squirrel fortress in tact!), the bugs are a huge nuisance out in the garden lately. I feel like I am constantly dodging and ducking under spider webs, swatting off the leaf footed hoppers that like to fly directly in my face, and sadly watching the vine borers taking out my squash plants.
Okay, I sound so sad and pathetic.
It’s really not that bad. These bugs are letting me know that the end of the spring season is here. I had a good run, and am actually still benefiting with some tomatoes, squash, green beans, and others here and there, so I really can’t complain.
In the main garden, the tomatoes are turning into a jungle! It’s definitely time to trim it up so I can actually walk around them, hopefully this will also help with all the spider webs everywhere!
The leaf footed hoppers love feasting on the tomatoes. They are in full force here in Austin and they are hard to get rid of. You basically have to pick them off individually and kill them by dropping them in soap water or squishing them. Although I don’t recommend the latter because they have a stench to them when they are squished. I have even heard of some people sucking them up with a vacuum!
I think I might try and re-root some more of the tomato tops that I trim. Did you know tomato stems will grow roots if you stick them in water?
This year I tested out some “vine borer tolerant” squash varieties and have had better success than last year. I grew crook-neck yellow squash and tatume squash. I don’t think the yellow squash could handle those little vine borers though as I have pretty much had to pull them all out by now. Although I did get a few squash from them before they got infected, so that was awesome.
The tatume has been great and I will definitely be planting it again. It is a pretty aggressive vine and what makes it so tolerant to the vine borer is the fact that it will quickly re-root itself. Plus this squash can be harvested as a summer or winter squash, so it’s pretty much a win-win. The only con is you need a lot of room for this squash to spread out. My favorite surprise so far was the fact that it poked through the fence and started growing squash on the other side, definitely a fun little treat.
The lettuce has bolted and officially ended it’s run. My pineapple tomatillos were looking a little sad, and upon closer inspection it looks like aphids and their favorite pals, ants, have taken over. I blasted them with some water and that took care of most of them, but the damage was done. I think the tomatillos are at the end of their run anyway so all is well.
In the side garden, the cucumbers are finally doing something (hopefully it’s not too late in the season!), and the green beans are still going strong. I have already harvested and frozen lots of green beans, there are still new buds, and some of the pods that I left on are even ready to be picked for their seeds. Pretty good set up those beans!
And on the porch, the sweet potato slips I planted are doing well and the mint is just so happy it doesn’t know what to do with itself. I definitely need to dry some of the leaves for tea. The dwarf tomato plant seems to be thriving in the heat, although I still have yet to get a real tomato, and the meyer lemons and limes keep growing bigger and bigger every day.
Lastly, I will leave you with this short video of ants moving a victim of the spider web from above…plus a picture of happy Mabel (I just couldn’t resist).
And with that, I better start thinking about my fall garden!
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