Our bounty: Lettuce, Blue Lake Bush beans, our first non-cherry tomato, sugar snap peas, Sweet basil. Not pictured is a cucumber that I picked earlier that day when I was checking for cucumber beetles. Since dinner was already a little late, I needed something quick.
Starter - Tomatoes, basil and Artisan balsamic vinegar and peas
Main course - Lettuce and cucumber salad, Roasted green beans with toasted almonds, scrambled eggs
Dessert - Watermelon
Dinner was delicious and we have been picking tomatoes, a few cucumbers and beans almost every day since. The peas are about done now and we will replant in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately during our daily treks, we have been noticing more and more of these odd blue and black bugs:
After some research, turns out they are a type of squash bug! Yuck. That is why my squash and watermelon plants on the weedless gardening side are slowly dying. It would seem that hand picking is the best control method although many people recommended releasing the chickens as well. So this morning I lured them into the garden with a little feed.
Now wouldn't it be too easy if they just went in and ate all the bugs? Of course. Besides, if that worked, all gardeners would need would be a few chickens. The chickens seemed interested in the feed, bugs... and the tomatoes. Since I want to leave the garden gate open for the day, I had to come up with some way to keep them out of my three rows of tomatoes. Enter the sheets.
Silly looking? Yes. I am hopeful though. Someone already took a bite out of the one eggplant I have growing so maybe this will help. (The eggplant is in with the tomatoes.) Now I just have to figure out why this is the first year I have ever seen them and the best way to mitigate them for the upcoming years. I got some organic compost from an outside source this year so perhaps it came with that. More research is definitely needed. How about you? How do you organically control cucumber and squash beetles?