Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nature wins again

This years pumpkin patch attempt started out pretty good and I was very optimistic about my chances. Then in early July the leaves started to yellow and some of them wilt. At first I thought it was a water and heat issue- it has been in the 100"s with no real rain since June. Then I started to notice the "frazz"
near the base on the stem of my vines and used the wonderous internet to investigate. I found out that my plants have been infested by the Vine Borer moth. Apparently the eggs hatch and the larvea make their way into the stems where they munch on my plants, cutting of the water and nutrients. From what the experts say, there's not a lot you can do at this point, it needs to be treated before the larvea make it into the stem. I did get a few pumpkins this year, 4 actually and they are still growing and will ripen. The ends of the plants are healthy, but for how long I'm not sure. I guess I should be happy with what I got, after all it is just for fun and the real farmers are the one's hurting out there this year.
Time to move on to some serious prop building now...

                              the dreaded squash vine borer

My stems as they look today

The patch is thinning, but won't those rotten vines look great on a BlairCrow?


  1. Those stinking bugs! How terrible. I'm totally burnt out with all the pests and heat too. We've been getting that same drought in Wisconsin. I'm watering at least an hour a day, and am on constant guard against the beetles tearing holes in my roses, the moths who are eating through the veggies, the chipmunks that are tearing up nearly everything I plant, the bunnies that are eating every leaf they can find. The list goes on and on... It is so frustrating! I don't know how you can battle something that's living inside of your pumpkin's vine.

    As you said, the people who are farming for a living are really getting hit hard this year. Be grateful for the pumpkins that survived, as I'm trying to be grateful for every plant that lives through my pests. Yeah, at least critters can't destroy your props! Well, maybe termites could... Still, you should stand better luck than with growing pumpkins. :)

  2. I HATE THOSE BUGS! That's what cured my need to grow my own pumpkins =(

  3. I think I'm with you Countess. I should have known- the same thing happened last year but I did not know what it was at the time. I read that if you have these bugs once, you should not plant within 400 feet of that area. I know there are some things that you can do for treatment, but I really don't have the time or energy to do battle.
    Justine- I feel like a little cry baby compared to what you have been dealing with! I only have one critter and one planting to deal with- I can't imagine taking on the entire animal kingdom.
    Good luck and protect your own!

  4. He may be a dreaded squash vine borer, but by the color of his body, he looks like he's ready for Halloween!

  5. Ha! I did not even notice that. What a great observation Mary!

  6. When it cools off....I mus Kill All of these garden pests...( That is why I closely examine my Patch...stems and all) I will use a straight pin and make small holes...stabbing and slaying these pests.... (stab about 6 to 8 inches away from the infected area. with this length. done the vermin should Die.... Sorry about your crop...

  7. Wow...I'm so envious, yet so happy for you to even have a few pumpkins survive! Here in FL, I've been completely unsuccessful at getting pumpkins to grow....too bloody hot I suppose. So I must live vicariously through my internet Halloween friends who live farther north and have more success. Sorry about the varmints....guard your survivors well...and with any luck they'll get faces on them in the very near future! :o)

  8. My crop failed as well.... and the one pumpkin that I did get destroyed by a mouse a day or two before I was to carve it ...Worst of all... I do Not yet know if my health will be up to trying again next year ..."bummer"... The other one did turn orange... but the idea of sticking my hand inside of it with its contents of "borer worms"... appalls me,.....
    I am glad that you at least harvested a few from your own patch..... And Cool-looking props....