Friday, June 19, 2009

I hate squash borers, love tomatoes and basil

Well, here you see the results of squash borers on my beautiful Italian zucchini.  They bore into the stem, leaving behind wet, brown frass (excrement), and destroying the plants vascular system.  If you are not vigilant (I was not), you will first notice that the plant has wilted.  At that point it is too late.  The key to control is to stop the borer from entering in the first place, or to remove them when they are tiny and before they do much damage.  Stagger plantings so you always have new plants coming along to replace ones that are infected.  Get rid of all squash vine residue to break the life cycle.  Cover vine "joints" with soil to get multiple rooting sites for one plant.  Hope you have better luck than I did!

This zucchini, from a different vine, shows how moisture at early development, followed by really dry times, followed by moisture, affects the shape of the final squash. 

Finally, check out this first of the season beautiful salad of two kinds of cherry tomato, lots of basil, and olive oil.  Too good to be true.