In which we discover why our squash suddenly died.

Squash bugs. Lots and lots and lots of squash bugs. I just couldn’t figure out how this magnificent plants had gone from thriving and putting out monster squash to wilted and dying in less than 2 weeks.

When we pulled up the plants today, the ground was literally moving with all the bugs. Creepy. On the plus side, a family of toads had set up residence in that bed, and they popped up and had themselves a little feast.

I’m sure the bugs are going to move over to the pumpkin patch, but since I unilaterally refuse to use the sorts of insecticides it takes to kill them, because of the fallout to the rest of the chain that eats those bugs; frogs, toads, gekkos, birds, I don’t see that there’s much I can do. The pumpkins haven’t really done much of anything this year except make giant green leaves. We’ve had no viable flowers yet, so I was going to take them out soon anyway. I have a feeling that when we clear the pumpkin and melon patches, we’re going to find the same level of infestation.

But, this is the first year we’ve not used any chemicals on the yard or beds, and we’re just starting to get lots of toads and lizards and birds making their home in the gardens, so hopefully next year our little friends will take care of the bugs for us. I also need to do some research on which EOs are good to keep bad bugs away, but don’t hurt the good garden critters.

Tomorrow, between soaping about 6 batches, I’m going to head to the nursery and pick up some flowers to put in the beds instead of these poor bedraggled vines.

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