Organic gardening sure can be stressful, and gross!
This year I'm trying to grow Yellow Zucchini for the Growing Challenge. Isn't the flower pretty? Well, don't get too excited.
The other day I spotted this ugly bug and was promptly informed that it's a Squash Vine Borer.
So I rushed out and hosed down my entire kitchen garden with this concoction that I made with cayenne pepper and proceeded to go into denial about the part where Gina in Ohio said it was probably too late and that this gross bug had likely already laid eggs that had hatched and were now inside the squash.
Then last night Carol at May Dreams Garden gave me a stern talking to over on Plurk about getting my butt out there to look for damage. So I compromised and snapped a few pictures so that I could investigate on my laptop, far away from the yuck.
Here are 2 of the plants (above) and they look pretty good, right? No obvious sign of damage.
Then there's this one. I noticed that it looks very dark (almost black) around the bottom.
Then there's that one stem over on the right that is brown and, well, dead looking. Take a closer look.
Holy Mackerel! That has got to be the most disgusting thing I've seen in a while.
The Squash Vine Borer eggs hatch and the baby worms (pictured on the left) bore into the stem of the plant where they grow into full size worms that literally suck the life out of the poor squash.
Apparently I can perform some sort of surgical operation on the plant to try to save it but I'm really inclined to just rip the entire thing out and throw it in the trash. I'm planning to sleep on this and decide what to do in the morning. I wish I knew if the dark blackish part meant that the entire thing is infested because that'd help me make the decision to compost it.
What should I do? Trash the plant or perform surgery on it? And please do not vote if you are only interested in picturing me out there puking and freaking out over the site of this disgustingness.