Sunday, December 13, 2009

Organic Control of Garden Insects

Now I want to make this clear to you from the start, I am a Kansas girl, I was born a Kansas girl, will die a Kansas girl, and it won’t matter where I am relocated I will always remain a Kansas girl, yes, I have the ruby red slippers to prove it too!
I am not afraid of snakes, I am not afraid of bugs, rabbits, or other wildlife that may venture then the yard. I can remember as a child watching ants for hours, and putting little grains of sugar on the sidewalk to see them carry it off to their home (now you can tell my attention is easily captured, and I was an easy child to entertain).
The one thing that I am afraid of, I detest, and I have a full-blown hissy fit every time I see one is a Squash Bug! I hate em, hate em, absolutely without a doubt completely hate em. They appear overnight at the base of a squash plant, they bore into the stems, they suck all the life out of the plant, within days you have a limp pitiful plant where once little zucchini were growing.
I love organic gardening, one of my high school classmates brought me a pickup load of horse manure one time and it was the best gift I got all summer long. If there is a natural way to amend soil, fertilize, or take care of garden problems, I am all for trying it.
So, the first time I encountered squash bugs I started my research and there it was the golden words of how to get rid of them. You pick them off the plants, put them in a blender, add enough water to make a thin liquid, then spray it on the plants. The squash bugs pack up and leave, never to be seen again.
With the enthusiasm that only a novice could have, I picked bugs, picked bugs, and picked bugs. Brought the blender outside, put the bugs in, a little water and pushed the button ~ not enough water, off with the lid and more water, pushed the button ~ still not enough water. Off with the lid and put a lot more water in, pushed the button and ~~~
For crying out loud, I had forgot to put the lid back on, up came water like a fountain with pieces of mushed up squash bugs all over me, in my hair, on my face, all over my clothes!
I was running around like a demon-possessed being, into the house, into the shower, and after using all the hot water, I felt a little bit better, but I swear I could still smell the squash bugs.
Back outside, there sat the cursed blender with the residue of my arch-enemies The Mushed Squash Bugs in the bottom. I did the only thing a reasonable person driven to the point of insanity would do – into the trash went the blender, and into the car I went and down to the nursery.
Now I can’t just ask a question there, I had to go into the whole story and they are good at my nursery, very, very good, no one broke out laughing, but I could see their shoulders shaking when they thought I wasn’t looking. I think the fire in my eye would have kept anyone from laughing out loud at that point.
I found there are very few products on the market, organic or otherwise that will rid your garden of Squash Bugs, but a few non-organic applied to the base of the squash plant when it first comes up helps to deter the bugs from infesting.
To this day I can claim to be only a part-organic gardener, and the part that isn’t is the squash plants – and I really hate squash bugs to the bone to this day! And, every once in a while when I go to the nursery someone is brave enough to ask if I have squash bugs this year!

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