The Zucchini is Dead. Long Live the Zucchini!

Just about one month after my Zucchini Emergency, when I discovered Squash Vine Borers killing it, I have a new, healthy looking zucchini plant. The old one died shortly after my post. And I planted this one immediately.

The bad news is that I caught one of these bad boys red handed, trying to lay eggs:

I shooed her away and inspected the plant for the tiny orange eggs. I found maybe half a dozen and squashed them. I'm keeping a lookout for more. If all goes well, I should get my first zucchini in about a month.

Build a Bat House to Save Bats from "White-Nose" Fungus

The mysterious "white-nose" fungus that appeared on bats in the Northeast U.S. out of nowhere in 2006 could drive them to extinction within 20 years according to research published this week in Science. Whether you find bats cute or creepy, they're important because they eat insects, including mosquitoes. The 1 million bats that have died since 2006 would have eaten 694 tons of insects each year. That's hundreds of trillions of individual insects!

Bat ecologist Thomas Kunz of Boston University suggests building a bat house to provide bats a better summer habitat.

Photos credit: bcostin.

Zucchini Emergency!

I'm super bummed right now. My zucchini plant went from having many healthy leaves and several blossoms just a few days ago to this sad state.

I pulled off most of the upper stem, which had turned to mush, and found at least three squash vine borers. M****rf***ers!!! I left the few relatively healthy remaining leaves out and covered the ravished stem with some soil in the hopes that it can put out some more roots and recover. I also planted a few new seeds as insurance. I know it's super late, but we could have two full hot months left, maybe I'll get some zucchini in October.

We'll see if it's able to make a comeback. I'll post an update in a few days.

Praying Mantis Among the Peppers

I found this little guy hanging out in my pepper plants.

Here you can see him exploring the pepper plants a bit. In the background you can hear the good humor truck driving by and Max barking at it -- the sounds of summer.

Winners and Losers

My kale is performing like a superstar. This is the second huge colander full that I've got since planting it in early spring.

My cabbage, however, is not as fortunate.

Bug-eaten and going to seed. I gave up on it and composted it after taking this photo. I like to think it at least served some purpose as a bug decoy -- keeping the slugs and bugs off the kale. Like Billy Bob Thornton says in Bad Santa "They can't all be winners, can they".

Back from hibernation (with strawberries)

I actually came out of hibernation a while ago, and planted strawberries and other spring crops (mostly leafy greens) back in the middle of March. Today is the first day I've gotten more than one strawberry:

Unfortunately, somebody else got to the strawberries before I did despite my efforts with bird netting:

Who do you think it could be? Would a rabbit crawl under my netting? Or could a bird peck through it?

Here's the whole garden bed including the newly planted row of peppers and two eggplant plants. The rest of the space is for corn and melons which are hard at work germinating.

The other garden beds have got the leafy greens, some seeds just getting started, and herbs.

This one has got kale, spinach, chard, and Romaine lettuce. The cabbage is a little bug eaten and is starting to go to seed, so I'm thinking I'll start some beans in that spot after ripping that up and eating what I can. The spinach is also about ready to rip up. Kale and chard are still going. In the last row, I've got seeds starting for cucumbers, okra, and heirloom vine tomatoes.

This bed has arugula, mesclun mix, beets, radishes (the fastest growing), carrots, scallions, leeks, and okra (under the plastic salad box to help it germinate).

And this one has my herbs. The oregano is going crazy, and the thyme has just started to flower. The dill is just getting started, and the basil hasn't germinated yet. The rosemary (back, left corner) was just planted from a cutting I got from a friend. I'm saving the middle box for lemongrass!

Another bed, not pictured, has some leftover scallions and leeks that survived the winter, plus Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini getting started. The last bed is a flower bed, and I'm still working on getting that one ready. I got burnt out last year with building the bed. I'm hoping to start my flower seeds this weekend.

Anyone have ides for how to use tons of oregano?