There’s but one remaining yellow caterpillar with black spikes (top center of middle leaf above), super destructive to the leaves of the yellow squarrrsh and the spaghetti squarrsh and the cucumbers, but there are still a zillion “lady” bugs, gathering on the last leaves, even more destructive than the caterpillars. Worse than the beasts was the white mildew. It’s like white paint sprayed over everything. It’s soooo humid here all the time. Grrrr….
The squarrrsh were pulled up a couple of weeks back, and I’ve now pulled up the cucumbers (having harvested the last offerings). All the spaghetti squarrrsh were harvested. Six of the ten were good, four having bit the dust to worms that turned them to mush.
The bucket of Sevin purchased in the Spring of the year was never used as the directions say to never use it when there are still flowers on the plants as it will kill all the bees everywhere. Well, well. This is my first time gardening and now I find out that squarrrsh of any kind and cucumbers flower throughout the season, as do the tomatoes, so Sevin can never be used. If I’m wrong on that, please let me know!
The tomatoes were also somewhat plagued by the “lady” bugs and yellow caterpillars, which are now pretty much gone as their main prey was the nearby squarrrsh and cucumbers. However, the tomatoes are now visited by horrible black caterpillars, which munch holes deep into the tomatoes even while they stay on the outside. Grrr….
Having said that, the tomato plants are doing well (the in-ground ones better than the 5 gallon bucket ones). A couple of the plants are over ten feet high, vigorous as ever, lots of tomatoes.
Some have dozens of tomatoes, even after dozens were already havested:
The real tomato plague consists of tiny little what-looks-to-be red aphids. Wherever they are (everywhere) the leaves turn spotty and then yellow and then die. Grrr…
But the tomatoes are growing so fast this late in the season (lots of gentle rain) that they have kept just a step or two in front of these pests and have been putting out an abundance of tomatoes.
Are tomatoes fruits or vegetables? That’s not for a first-time gardener to know, but let it be known that vine-ripened tomatoes are really very tasty. Tomatoes go with just about anything.
My first time gardening (starting up during the most severe lockdowns of Covid-1984), was a welcome way to get outside in God’s good creation, a most wonderful way to get some exercise, the perfect distraction from that which necessitates some distraction (lots of drugs and violence in the neighborhood). Clearing the mind and heart of some of the hell of this world by walking with the Lord in His good creation is exhilarating.
But what about the “lady” bugs and caterpillars and worms and mildew you ask? When I mumble a “Grrr…” it’s much more in the sense of a challenge than in the sense of disappointment or frustration. I’m immediately thinking: What can I do next year to improve? I can’t wait to try!
In summary: gardening is good for the soul.
Oh, I almost forgot: here’s a picture of the asparagus patch in honor of my mom, who was a wonderful gardener and had a veritable forest of asparagus. Some green-thumb parishioners planted this forest for me a few years ago, using store bought roots. They’re fantastic growers. Of course, it’s been quite some time to let them go to seed, so they are now up four and five and seven feet. They will grow taller:
Out front, the lettuce boxes had their last harvesting, many months after they should have been done. The lettuce had no pests at all.
The wild wildflowers in buckets on the steps need to be put down on the ground and off to the side as they are growing a bit too tall. They are getting ready to explode into flowers once again.