Bugs…ughhhh bad bugs

Gardening is not without bugs – of many kinds.

Leaf-footed bug
Leaf-footed bug

As I have written before, I do like most bugs. I love butterflies, bees, assassin bugs, spiders, dragonflies and other pollinators.

However, I hate bad bugs who eat my plants and ruin things.

This year has been really bad for some bugs. Thanks 2020…

Specifically, as I have said before, the squash vine borer was HORRIBLE. I lost all my squash, zucchini and pumpkins to them. I also really hate grubs. Grubs are kind of my fault because they thrive in soil that isn’t the healthiest. They eat the roots of plants and then the plants slowly die.

Eggplant killed by a bug…I think.

If you’ve watched my journey of moving four beds that were troublemakers from one side of the “farm” to the other, you’ll know just how many grubs I had. Yuck yuck.

Some other evil bugs are squash bugs, aphids, leaf-footed bugs, cabbage worms, caterpillars, stink bugs, tomato hornworms, cucumber beetles and pickle worms. Each one has been an issue this year in some way.

Today, I also found ants farming aphids. Yes, you read that right. Apparently the aphids secrete a sweet liquid (ew!) and the ants love it. So, they literally take care of the aphids as the aphids eat the plant. #nothankyou.

Pumpkin vines killed by squash vine borer.

For the ants, I put DE on the plants when I know the bees aren’t out. For the squash bugs, grubs, cabbage worms, caterpillars and stink bugs, I just try to be diligent in finding them and squishing them. For the vine borer, I tried everything. This coming year I have some new traps to try and will also try to plant earlier before their season.

What kind of bugs are you dealing with this year? And how are you fixing the problem? Let me know in the comments below.


Fall garden plan – 2020

VERY rough sketch of how I’d like to plan the fall garden.

Fall is coming!!! Spread the word. The summer heat is almost over for us here in South Carolina – or it will be in about a month in a half…hopefully.

Since I usually start planning the Spring and Summer garden when January and February roll around – it is only natural for me to plan the fall garden when it is still 90+ degrees every day. (right??)

For the fall, I have quite a few plant babies starting on the porch (my own little protective spot to start seeds) and some broccoli, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts already out under covers. Unfortunately, while my spring cabbages were beautiful and grew well, I think it is just a bit too hot for the fall ones. Two or three have also already been munched on by the cabbage worm – even though they’re under a cover… sneaky buggers.

More of the fall garden plan for 2020.

I have started a fall crop of tomatoes outside in a garden bed and have more seedlings growing nicely on the porch. This time, I plan on properly staking the tomatoes and fertilizing in the hopes of a great harvest.

I also plan to grow: peas, pumpkins, arugula, mustard greens, dill, lettuce, parsnips, turnips, marigolds, carrots, spinach, endive, swiss chard, garlic, leeks, cilantro and try again for zucchini.

As I said in the summer garden post, I’ve decided not to be so cheap – I mean frugal – in buying plant food. As Martha Stewart says, “you eat, so your plants have to eat!”

I’d love to hear any tips or tricks that you have for growing any of the items I’ve listed – just leave a comment or email me at pigdogfarms@gmail.com.