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!