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Monday, July 15, 2013

Bugs and weeds

I have some really nice squash plants going. Some of the leaves are a foot across and they have flowers coming out under them. Someone else has taken notice of the lovely things and moved in uninvited. Squash bugs. Nasty little devils who lay eggs on the underside of the leaves and create squash mayhem. The baby squash bugs are the ones who do the most damage. They, as well as the adults, suck the life juices out of the stems of the flowers and leaves and they also carry a virus called "yellow vine disease". I don't want to use Seven or any other poison so I do my squash bug control the old fashioned way. I hunt the adults and the eggs and squish them. I think I have everything under control because I haven't seen any babies and yesterday I only found 3 egg clusters. I am growing my squash on old carpet so there are no weeds or mulch for the adults to hide in. I notice when I flood the plants the adults come running out. That's when they meet Mr. Foot. The end. Here are some pics of the eggs and adults.

Squash leaves with squash bug egg clusters. If the light is just right you can see them through the leaf.

egg cluster on squash leaf

side view of eggs

through the microscope-20x magnification

a good squash bug-notice the long beak for piercing and sucking the plant juices

Heres a top view of the recently deceased squash bug. They are a dark copper color.


Here is my next favorite farm pest. This an invader from the warm temperate and tropical areas of southern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. It is Tribulus terrrestris, the goat head weed. If you have ever stepped on one in your bare feet or had a bike tire flattened by one of these little devils you will know why I hate them. I first made their acquaintance in Arizona. I also ran into them in Colorado and California. They grow anywhere where the ground is bare and fully sunny. It is a flat lying weed and is a serious pest. The only cure other than picking each plant is to use an herbicide such as 2,4,D. I will never use Round Up or any other Monsanto product. They can go to HELL! I hate big companies who think they can bully anyone to fatten their own coffers. Bastards.
Here is a few pics of the nasty little weeds.


the whole plant

leaves flowers and fruit

side view of the fruit


if you look at just one of the five fruits you will see why it is called "goats head"

heres a close up shot

2 comments:

Christopher Ellis said...

Yay: squish bugs & squash Monsanto. Hand raised food is best

Quentin said...

Gorgeous!