Planting My Fall Garden + the Invasion of the Squash Bugs

BEFORE-AFTER

Here are my before and after pictures of changing my summer garden to my fall garden. You can see my garden was really overgrown with marigolds and the zucchini plants in the back.

I decided to take out my zucchini plants because I hadn’t had any fruit for about 2 weeks.

Plus they were getting destroyed by squash bugs.

Last year I had a few squash bugs, but this year they have been going crazy. They rarely eat the zucchini fruit, and as far as I know they don’t bite, but BOY are they uggggly.

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Earlier this spring when I noticed a few of them I just collected them in a jar and killed them as I found them. Then I cut off all the leaves with their little eggs on them too and fed them to the chickens. But a whole new batch happened when I wasn’t watching. There were little babies everywhere…millions of them. The white ones you can see on that zuchinni leaf are middle sized ones.

Here is how the big ones look:

squashbugs

So I grabbed a big plastic garbage bag, and pulled up each zucchini plant, then tossed it in the bag. It was gross..and their were squash bugs all over. (shudder…)

After I bagged them up I still saw millions of brand new baby squash bugs running all over the ground. Millions.

So I had this idea to put my chickens in there.

I had to fence the area I wanted them to be in because they love eating my veggies as well. The chickens were in bug heaven. They ate, and scratched and ate some more. They ate every single bug in that area…and I was just sitting there smiling the whole time.

 I sure do LOVE them chickens!!

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After they ate all the bugs, I put them out and got to work on the rest of the garden.

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I harvested some more of my green beans. Oh they were so delicious. I would love to have a garden next year the size of my current one just for green beans. And I won’t can a single bean either…because my whole family would eat them fresh every night if they could.

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I transplanted the marigolds to another part of the yard.

Then planted my fall seeds. Here is what I planted.

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cilantro (not sure if this one will grow..but I love it so much so I am hoping)
  • Spinach
  • Peas ( I planted these last month for a fall harves)
  • And I will be growing garlic as well too.

My tomatoes are still bearing fruit, and the tomatoes are finally getting to be a nice big normal size. Plus I am getting some green peppers – it’s a miracle! My celery just looks like leaves, and don’t know if it will grow big ever. But the basil I just chopped down 3 weeks ago is already full grown again. I will be drying my oregano and thyme for the first time as well. Gardening is so exciting!

What are your favorite fall garden items to grow? This is my first year doing a fall garden so I would love to hear from you. Also if you have a natural remedy to get rid of squash bugs…I would LOVE to know.8 Comments

Planting My Fall Garden + the Invasion of the Squash Bugs was last modified: February 10th, 2014 by Karrie

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Comments

  1. I planted green beans, onions, a loofa plant, potatoes, lettuce, more squash because mine got destroyed by squash bugs early!!! I would also like a remedy for them pesky bugs if you get one that works!! The only thing that worked for me was watering the plant the pickin bugs & eggs but I was not fast enough & missed some. Good luck with your fall garden, this is my first one also!!

  2. You might try a compost tea, if bugs return. They kind be tricky in the beginning but your plants will love it! Looks great! My GF saw this and I will be building one this weekend. 😉

  3. This is my first year with a 4×8 garden at a community garden and have container vegetables at home. You have already helped me…so that’s what those were, squash bugs. Any idea if soapy water or organic Neme spray would help that?

    Also, I am interested in your comment that you chopped down your basil and it came back. How far down do you cut it? Mine is almost 3 ft high with the flowers. I just found a recipe for a tomato basil feta salad that I want to make this week for a small group of ladies, and I could do this after I pick for this salad.

    What’s the best way to dry basil and oregano?

  4. I pulled out all my squash plants and trimmed back my tomatoes, harvested a lot of peppers-cubanelle, jalapeño, bells-and this year for the first time, we grew cucamelons, which taste like a citrusy cucumber but look like a grape sized watermelon, very cool. I was able to pickle some green beans, green tomatoes, and cucamelons. I also canned some diced tomatoes with fresh basil and garlic and olive oil, yum. Oh, and I canned some fresh salsa! I will be canning some more stuff once I can harvest. From my herb garden I harvested a lot of green onions, garlic, sage, basil and cilantro. The basil never does well in my yard and I need more than one plant of the cilantro because we use so much of it! I grew stevia and now I need to figure out how to use it in place of sugar.

    Someone asked about drying your herbs. In a bunch, dry them upside down. You can gently cover them with tissue paper to keep from getting dusty. I like to lay them on a screen and dry them on my front window because they dry faster and don’t accumulate a lot of dust. Then I either crush them or grind them and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer or put in jars.

    For my fall garden all I’ve gotten into the ground are beets and radishes. I still have plenty of other stuff out there but I’d love to do something different!

  5. This is my first year for a fall garden too. I planted a lot of the same things you did but I added some broccoli and onions. I think I will do some romaine like you though!

  6. My fall garden will have salad mix, arugula, bush beans, carrots and parsnips, beets, spinach, garlic, onions. I have a large pallet garden and this year the squash bugs killed everything related to quash. My chicken coop is a moveable A-frame so I put it on top of the problem area. Now their poop will fertilize my fall gar.den

  7. Hi Karrie,
    I wanted to tell you about this amazing movie I stumbled on. I learned more about organic gardening from this movie than I have in all the years of classes and classical studying I’ve done and all the money i’ve wasted on classes ughhhhh!!! It’s so amazing. He teaches that the reason why our vegetables are invaded by bugs is because our soil becomes unhealthy by remaining uncovered (an unnatural occurance in nature and a departure from god’s creativity) and that the plant then dies and sends a signal out to the bugs “come eat me”.

    This movie changed my whole life in terms of gardening. I even got to visit his farm in the Olympic National Forest and taste the amazing vegetables. Watch and tell me what u think: back to eden gardening http://vimeo.com/28055108 backtoedenfilm.com

    I usually go mushroom hunting in the forests for yummie edibles and i’ve always been enamoured by the soil in the forest’s floor. when I saw this movie I was like “OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!” it blew me away. I wish you all the gardening success next year. sincerely, Nichole

    • Hello Nichole! I have watched that video before too – but have heard mixed reviews on if it actually works as well as mulching..but I would love to try it. Have you tried it with success? I would love to know!

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