Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Veggie Garden :: Attempt Two

Photo: Raised Bed Veggie Garden © Biologie.

My raised bed vegetable garden is now a total of 36 square feet. That's still small but at least I have a little more room to work with than I did last Fall. I planted my new Spring vegetable garden on Monday and tied a soaker hose along the top of the beds. After I had it all hooked up I realized it would have made more sense to line the soaker hose along the inside of the beds so I might re-do all that before the plants really start taking off.

Last fall I planted a pesticide-free vegetable garden of mostly squash. My beautiful and healthy squash plants were devastated by squash vine borers. I even took a picture of one of the adult moths (pictured left) sitting on my squash leaf and wondered what kind of bug it was but I forgot to identify it, to my later chagrin.

The vines went from thriving and blooming big gorgeous flowers to withered and dying, practically overnight. The squash plants had been attacked from within by the larvae of the squash vine bugs and I couldn't see the damage until it was too late! The adult female lays her eggs at the base of the plant and when the larvae hatch they burrow inside the stem and begin eating the plant alive from the inside! After they are finished with the buffet, they exit the stems and work their way into the ground to pupate and emerge the next spring to start the cycle all over again.

To manage the menace of squash vine borers, the first step is to know what the adults look like and keep an eye out for them. Organic controls are outlined at the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service: Squash Bug and Squash Vine Borer.

I'm spraying the new transplants with a home-made organic pepper spray recipe my dad uses on his garden. I'm not sure if it will keep the borers at bay but it does help keep off the bugs that like to chomp the leaves.

Organic Pepper and Garlic Spray

  • dishsoap
  • several cloves of garlic
  • 6-10 hot peppers (hotter the better!)
  • 1 gallon water

Place garlic, peppers and a small amount of your water in a blender/food processor and puree. NOTE: Avert your face when you take the lid off because the fumes are very strong. Strain the mixture and add the liquid to your gallon of water.

When you are ready to use the solution on your garden, fill up a spray bottle, add 2 tsp dish soap, shake and spray every few days on the tops and undersides of plants and leaves until the pests are under control.

Shake well before each use.

Here's my newly planted Spring 2010 Veggie Garden!
My Spring 2010 Veggie Garden Mosaic
Wish me luck and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


  1. The garden looks great. I hope you have a bumper crop this year, and that the bad bugs will leave your plants alone.

  2. Your garden is so nice - good luck with keeping the bugs off this year. Thanks for the organic family hot pepper recipe - will pass this to my MIL who has awesomes gardens too. MY green thumb is not so green. We are still waiting on some snow to melt before we can get to plantin' tho.

  3. I hope I have a bumper crop too, that would be wonderful! :) And yes, Raige, please pass on the recipe, my dad says it works great - just spray whenever there is excess insect activity.

  4. Well, I can say that you have a healthy garden and like you I also use soaker hose for watering my garden. Anyway. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing.