Squash bugs, you’re on notice: Operation Dill is under way.
My lovely little pumpkins are ripening but it’s a race against the clock.
With less and less vine for the squash bugs to eat, my trio of pumpkins remain vulnerable. Last year this happened…
I’ve been hand picking squash bug eggs and removing adults from the vines for weeks, but predictably I missed a few. They hatched into destructive nymphs. I just can’t keep up.
Pauline at The Contented Crafter suggested planting dill. Apparently when grown together, pumpkins and dill make excellent companion plants. I raced to the garden center between appointments, but between the heat and my busy schedule, I didn’t plant them right away. I deposited all six pots on top of the EarthBox, leaving them to wilt. Boo!
I eventually gave them a good soak and they recovered. I pulled the three pumpkins together in a group, careful not to break the vines. I surrounded the fruit with dill.
Curious how they would react, I placed a dill plant near a bug congregation. They scattered! Ha!!!
Then I had a good laugh at myself. Of course they scattered when a bunch of leaves disturbed their reverie.
Would it last?
I checked last night and found an adult intruder sitting on the pumpkin stem. No, no, no!
Next Monday I leave for a much-anticipated, week-long vacation to Victoria, Canada with my bestie Boomdee. Yay, me!
The men of the house will do a cursory check on the plants, but none of them are on board with hand-picking bugs while I’m gone.
So…should I harvest them Sunday morning before leaving town, hoping they’ll continue to color? Or should I leave it up to Operation Dill and take my chances?
What would you do?
Six Ways to Control Squash Bugs in your Garden by Sarah Toney