When I came home from work Tuesday, Hank said I probably should check the garden. He saw lots of bugs when he harvested vegetables for dinner.
Unfortunately he was right.
Crap. I never have bugs.
Orange and black bugs covered the curly and Italian kale, sucking life from the leaves.
Prehistoric-looking bugs were clinging to the stems of my potato plants. Ditto.
I filled a yogurt container with soapy water and collected my garden gloves. I didn’t even change out of my work clothes.
I started with the kale bugs. First, I dropped the critters into the yogurt container to drown them. But the gloves slowed me down so I did it barehanded. After a while I stopped dropping the bugs into the yogurt container. I squashed them with my bare fingers, feeling a great deal of satisfaction when it appeared I got them all.
The bugs on the potatoes? They were too creepy to touch. I crushed them with my gloved hands. Then, I mixed up a concoction of red pepper, garlic, soap and water to spray the plants. The nozzle clogged so I vowed to visit our local gardening shop to find something safe to use.
This is what I learned from the woman behind the counter: Short of using some nasty stuff, I should pick the bugs, which are actually squash bugs, off the plants. She said lots of people were having the same problem, including her. It had something to do with our recent rains.
So that’s what I did when I got home last night. I swear I squashed a hundred. I will check the plants today to see if there are more. I can’t let them get the better of me or my garden.