Sunday morning finds SM and I taking a walk through the garden. Everything is suffering. Still no rain.
I'm watering the pumpkin patch and we're talking SVB's.
"What do these SVB's things look like?" He asks.
"Well, you won't see them but you'll see the eggs. Little dots on the leaves in a geometric pattern."
"Have you seen any yet?" SM asks.
"Not yet. But the last time I looked was a few days ago." I replied.
"Is this it?" SM points at one of the squash plants. I lean over and look where he's pointing.
"Crap!! There they are." I had really hoped that by planting the winter squash and pumpkins late that I might avoid the life cycle of the nasty little buggers but we're too warm. We have too long of a season so we get multiple generations.
"What are you going to do now?" SM asks.
I sigh. "Well, I haven't tried the tinfoil technique yet."
Rumor has it that some gardeners can keep the plant alive by wrapping several inches of the stem above the root line which prevents the larvae from starting to munch away on the plant, killing it.
Personally, I'm skeptical. Nowhere looking online do I find any comments or articles that this technique actually works. But I'm desperate to try anything so I grabbed the tinfoil and headed back outside.
First, I pushed back the dirt from roots and pinched off the lower leaves.
Then I gently but firmly wrapped the foil around several inches of the vine and then pushed some of the dirt back up and over the foil.
I'd also read about a "foil mulch" on some of the sites I'd researched so I loosely laid down a piece of foil where the vine touched the dirt.
I eyeballed for eggs as I went along and found a few that I scraped off with the edge of the scissors. I then wiped them on a piece a foil and threw them in the trash.
Dag-nabitt!!!! What else can you do? Freakin SVB's are like just like The Borg. "Resistance is futile." (*Just a small Trekkie joke there for all you SciFi fans out there.)
So just what do the pumpkin farmers use? There's a farm a few miles down the road and he always grows a few fields of pumpkins for October sales. You know he's using pesticides because his crop doesn't fail. Is this the only solution?
The utter irony here is that I planted several different varieties of winter squashes including Waltham Butternuts. Guess which one didn't germinate? Yep. The Butternuts. The only squash the SVB's don't like.
Next year, no pumpkins and ONLY Butternut varieties. Life is too short for this aggrivation. And that's OK. It will leave me more room to try sweet potatoes.
2013? The year of the Sweet Potato. Sounds good to me!