Growing in the garden

Lettuce by jenniferworthen
Lettuce, a photo by jenniferworthen on Flickr.

Spinach by jenniferworthen
Spinach, a photo by jenniferworthen on Flickr.

Cauliflower by jenniferworthen
Cauliflower, a photo by jenniferworthen on Flickr.

Broccoli by jenniferworthen
Broccoli, a photo by jenniferworthen on Flickr.

Onions by jenniferworthen
Onions, a photo by jenniferworthen on Flickr.

I've already harvested (and eaten) the cauliflower. I learned that once the florets start to separate, it's ready. I roasted the cauliflower in olive oil with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. It was pretty good! The onions are going to take a while by the looks of them. Everything else is getting pretty close to being ready!


I found an adorable tiny head of cauliflower in the garden yesterday. It's only about one inch in diameter, and I have no idea how long until it's ready, but I'm super excited. My first cauliflower! My fingers are crossed for the broccoli to follow...

Garden Update + Squash Vine Borer Guide

June Garden

Lots more coming from the garden! Clockwise from the top left we have Black Krim Tomatoes, Poona Kheera Cucumber, Red Cored Chantenay Carrots, Fence Row Cherry Tomatoes, and Hazelfield Farm Tomatoes. I’m really surprised how green everything still is; it helps that I’m watering every other day! It’s been in the high nineties for the last few weeks, and probably will be for three more months, but hopefully if I keep on top of the watering, everything will make it through the summer.

Unfortunately, the squash that was being attacked by squash vine borers did not make it. I kept taking out more and more bugs, and I don’t think I’m the most delicate when I’m removing them. The vines got so torn up that they had no hope for recovery. But just in case any of you have the chance to fight them, here’s theoretically how it should work.

Before you even get to the point where you’re fighting these bugs, start burying the squash vine every so often to encourage rooting. Then, if you happen to cut up the vine removing borers, the plant can use the new roots to stay alive.

image via University of Minnesota

First, if you see these guys flying around your squash, kill them immediately. Have. No. Mercy. These are the adult squash vine borer moths, which lay the eggs that turn into the larvae that kill your plants. I didn’t see any of these, but I didn’t even know to look for them.

image via Austin-American Statesman

Next, watch for eggs that have been laid on the vines of your squash. Remove them and squish them so that no larvae are born. Again, I didn’t see any of these, but I wasn’t looking for them.

image via The Haphazard Gardener

If any borers have gotten past the egg stage, they’ve turned into larvae and are probably eating your plants. You’ll know they are there when you see frass, which looks a lot like sawdust. I also had dying leaves right by the frass, so I could pretty much know exactly where the borers were.

 image via University of Minnesota

This is what you’re looking for once you’ve started digging around in the vine.They look like grubworms and they’re totally gross. Try to slice along the length of the vine as little as you have to in order to get to the borer. Remove it and kill it, or just stab it to death and leave it there. Supposedly if you go out at night with a flashlight you can see them through the vines and “impale them with a needle,” as one of my gardening books puts it, but I couldn’t see anything when I tried. Bury the part of the vine you cut open to let it heal.

Hopefully this little guide will help you be more successful than I was in fighting these nasty bugs.

Do you have any other methods for fighting squash vine borers?

May Garden

Lots of action in the garden right now. Mostly cucumbers and green beans, but the squash is starting to take off, and all of those green tomatoes are finally turning red. Something, possibly a bird, even got to one of them before I harvested it. At least I can save the seeds from that tomato!

And now for the bad news - the squash vine borers are out in full force. These things are so gross. I've dug a bug out of every single squash plant I have, and I'm not sure they are going to recover. We applied beneficial nematodes at the beginning of the season, and I wrapped foil around the base of the stems, but neither have helped at all. They've destroyed my squash plants every year, and I'm afraid they're going to do it again. Does anyone have a good way to keep these out of the garden?

I've been tracking my harvests using MyFolia, but here are the numbers for the year so far:

3 Squash, 0.68 pounds
1 Bell Peppers
2 Jalapeños
Green Beans, 4.6 pounds
11 Cucumbers, 4.14 pounds
4 Tomatoes, 0.73 pounds
8 Carrots, 0.38 pounds
Lots of herbs and some lettuce

I can't wait for next month; these numbers are going to skyrocket!

Dragon Tongue

Dragon Tongue Green Beans
If you have a garden, you need to grow this variety of green beans. Wait, I take that back. Even if you don’t have a garden, you should grow these beans. We harvested half a pound of Dragon Tongue green beans on Saturday and roasted them in olive oil with salt and pepper. They were AMAZING. I’ve never seen my husband eat vegetables with such voracity. He had to stop himself from eating them all. We thought they tasted a bit like fried okra, and definitely nothing like any green bean we’ve ever had before (in a good way). So, in conclusion, grow these green beans. You won’t regret it.

Peas and Beans

We've been harvesting peas like crazy.

12 ounces so far, and plenty more to come.

The bush green beans are flowering gorgeous purple flowers, and the pole beans are climbing away. They're actually trying to escape the yard!