Saturday, July 16, 2011

saving the zucchini

Last year when I planted my garden, my zucchini plants sprouted right on schedule, but shortly after the leaves spread open, they turned lacy and the plants died. I had to buy my zucchini at the farmer's market. That was a bummer.

This year my zucchini sprouts started going lacy again, so I took a good long look at the plants. With the help of google, I identified that I had a cucumber beetle problem. The community gardens are required to be organic (which is my preference anyway), so I had to find a non-toxic solution to my problem. After some reading, I made a pepper-spray solution: one quart of water, 1-and-a-half teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper, and two squirts of liquid dish detergent in a spray bottle. Every day I went to my garden and sprayed all the leaves of my zucchini plants, tops and bottoms, with the pepper spray. So far so good! On Wednesday I harvested my first zucchini of the season.

I'm still not certain my plants will survive the summer, as I've seen loads of squash bugs, and there are reports of vine borers in the garden, but I'll harvest as long as I can!


Kathy said...

Ah. I had lacy leaves on my pumpkins last fall but saw a bunch of little green worms on the underside of the leaves. I wonder if they were the beetle larvae. I used a natural pyrethrin spray and it worked. I'll keep this recipe in mind, as I'm getting ready to plant this year's pumpkin seedlings.

Glenda said...

Gorgeous zucchini!!

Our squash plants didn't survive the insane drought + heat we've been having since May. We'll try again next spring, though!

Squash bugs drive me crazy. They overtook our yellow squash plants year before last. You really do have to be very diligent in getting rid of them when you first see them.

Wishing you continued success with this year's garden :).

Isabelle said...

Squash bugs... I suppose the solution's in the name, really. You probably have to ... squash them. Ugh.