Final Score: Pumpkins, 8, Squash Bugs, 2

Things got a bit dicey in the pumpkin patch last month.  Nearly a dozen pumpkins grew happily on the vine until disaster struck.  A rapidly producing colony of squash bugs moved in and things turned ugly.  If you have any doubt, take a look:

This pumpkin never had a chance

This pumpkin never stood a chance

Instead of leaving the orange pumpkins on the vine to harden, I harvested all but two and set them on the patio thinking I would wipe them off before bringing them indoors.  The next day, the squash bugs found the harvest!  Eek!

I brought the pumpkins inside one by one, wiping them down with the first thing I could get my hands on: my son’s lip balm. (Desperate times call for desperate measures).  I didn’t want to bring garden pests indoors, so I figured the coating would put an end to anything I missed.

polished pumpkins

Polished pumpkins

We’re big on pumpkins around here: we grow, harvest, decorate and carve them. It’s been a family tradition for a decade.  I also enjoy saving  seeds for the next season. This year I gave a few starters to friends, and passed on some seeds to an adorable pair of three-year-old twins that walk by the house with their dad. They planted the seeds and grew pumpkins of their own. I’m delighted.

The pumpkins hung out in the living room for several weeks, but as October approaches, it’s time to bring them center stage. I created a display on my iron bench combining an eclectic mix of drying lavender, three pumpkins and a refurbished fairy garden. Check back next week for the fall upgrade.
DSC_0012

DSC_0013-001

I love October. It starts with my birthday, ends with Halloween with plenty of goodness in between.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, this Boo season brings a special visit from Boooooomdee. She told me to expect her on the whisper of a dandelion, but I think she was teasing. I’ll go to the airport to fetch her just in case.

Boo season, here we come!

 

24 thoughts on “Final Score: Pumpkins, 8, Squash Bugs, 2

  1. Good riddance to those freaky bugs. Where on earth do they hang the rest of the summer? I can’t wait to see your fall vignette with the fairy’s and pumpkins greeting everyone on you porch. Withstanding all the nasties, you got a pretty good batch to carve up for Halloween. I saw some giant ones yesterday at the market. I’m not sure I’ll do one since we don’t get tricker treaters here and Deb will be at a concert that night. I guess her cousin isn’t doing a party this year either. Bummer, I was just getting back into the groove. My next year the part will be at our house 😀

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        • We’re kindred spirits. I always know what you’re saying. 🙂

          How’s your little house guest? I just read that somewhere, but now I can’t find where. Probably coming in from the cold. I’ve managed to catch mice (twice) but not without a bit of bravery (and perhaps stupidity). Once we had one running around the house and after two days, I suspected it was under the love seat in my mom’s house. I lifted the furniture with one hand, then scooped up the startled moused with the other. I got the mouse out of the housed, over to the fence, but it bit me hard on the finger. It felt like a needle piercing through.

          Don’t do that!

          The second time I was able to trap it under a basket. I slid a piece of cardboard under that and out he/she went. Good luck!

          I love that you gave mousy dinner. Love you.

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          • I hope I have the opportunity to help our little visitor before the kitties find it. Seems to be keeping out of sight right now. Kitties are snoozing but I know they can jump into action faster than me. I might wait until they go to bed with Jim and close the door so I can come back and try to find it’s little hiding spot. Not much of a dinner I’m afraid, a potato peel and an asparagus. Maybe there’s some dust bunnies under the tv cabinet and it can curl up for a little snooze. I only caught a wee glimpse, but it seemed really, really tiny.

            Thanks for the tips my dear. I might need that aqua cape to pull this off. HEHE, love you too.

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  2. My goodness you sure do breed some big critter infestations at your place! Does everybody in your parts do this or is this a special talent? De-crittered those pumpkins cleaned up very handsomely [which brought back memories of poor Frank] and I am sure they will make fabulous lanterns and such-like – can’t wait to see!

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    • I love autumn, too. It really smells like fall today as well though crazy warm with a high of 90 today. Can you believe that???

      Bugs do get the upper hand. Next year I’m going to do a better job researching companion planting in an effort to discourage the buggie beasties.

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  3. Pingback: Pumpkins: Something Old, Something New | Gardening Nirvana

  4. Pingback: Decoy Pumpkin Fail | Gardening Nirvana

  5. Pingback: Pumpkins in July? – Gardening Nirvana

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