Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Loss, Recovery, and Beans, Baby!

A couple of weeks ago, my DH and I discovered this little white caterpillar/worm on one of our puny tomato plants. Had no idea what it was and chalked it up to being a baby tomato hornworm.

Now, I think it was a squash vine borer larva. The SVB moth lays eggs on the stems and leaves of squash, and other members of the squash family like pumpkins. The eggs hatch and the little worm bores its way into the stem where it tunnels out the inside of the squash stem. The only evidence you see of damage on the outside is a little sawdust looking pile of stuff (excrement and gunk from the inside of the bug), followed by a dead plant. In most cases, it's fatal to the plant.

A few days ago, I noticed that one of our yellow squash plants had quit producing anything, had turned a very, very dark green, and had developed damaged leaves. I also noticed the tell-tale sawdust looking pile of stuff at the base and hanging off the stem itself.

We yanked the plant out this morning since it was too far gone. DH cut open the stem and found the little squash vine borer inside carrying out his destruction. We killed the worm and put the plant in the paper yard waste bag to go to the curb with the trash next week. We are watching the other squash plants carefully.

In better news, the sick pole beans are on the mend. I did end up yanking quite a few of the struggling plants, but several have made a great recovery and have started climbing the trellis.

I cut off the affected/diseased leaves and the rest of the plant has really greened up. It's fun to see them catch onto the trellis and start climbing it.

Different plant, but you can see it climbing the string trellis. Everytime I see the beans climbing the trellises, I think of the kid's song, "We are Climbing Jacob's Ladder". LOL

The pole beans in the small bed have taken off like crazy! Still not setting pods, but growing up the trellis, adding lots of leaves, and just looking good in general.

They've gone over the top and made a little arch for themselves! Too cute!

Meanwhile, the Blue Lake bush beans in the small bed continue to bloom and set pods. I love seeing the little bitty pods, just about 1/4" in length still fuzzy from birth. On most of the plants, there are flowers and pods in various stages of development.

Here are the biggest pods we have. They're about 3" long. Sorry for the not so great pic. The pea vines in front were moving in the breeze and I couldn't get a good shot without the tendrils from the pea vines.

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