Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To The Victor Goes The Squash

I've grown winter and summer squash for the past several years and never had much trouble cultivating them, until this season. For the first time, squash bugs showed up. I found their tiny, bronze colored, spherical eggs clustered on the underside of the leaves of a number of plants soon after the first squash started forming.

The adult bugs literally suck the life out the plants and then lay eggs to produce offspring that will do more of the same. I knew I had a long, hard struggle ahead. Well, with the help of modern science and more than a little sweat, I managed to keep my plants alive and well long enough to allow the squash to reach maturity. It also helped that I had plants in reserve that allowed me to replace the casualties of this war. The photo shows some of the squash that resulted from my victory.

In the foreground you can see Thelma Sanders' Sweet Potato Squash, an acorn variation that has great flavor and the ability to last all winter without refrigeration if kept in a cool, dry, dark place. Behind them are Carnival Dumpling Squash, a variety which also has excellent flavor and keeps quite well. So mankind- 1, squash bugs - 0, but I'm sure the bugs are thinking, wait until next year.

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