Farm Happenings at Robinette Farms
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Farm Happenings for August 29, 2018 (Week 13 of 20): Disintegrating Plants

Posted on August 23rd, 2018 by Robinette Farms


  • Stay tuned in the next few weeks for details on how to sign up for the Fall CSA! Space will be limited so sign up as soon as possible if you want to extend your season!
  • Remember, you have lots of ways you can modify your share to meet the needs of your family's tastes and busy schedules! Login to your Harvie account anytime to change your delivery date or location, edit your veggie preferences or to add additional contacts so everyone in your family gets important emails from us!
  • I spent some time updating information on our website for those of your who don't use Facebook so be sure to check out the CSA Training Library (only through this link!)
  • We will have canning tomatoes for a few more weeks and they will be listed as an extra you can purchase when customizing your share each week. Get them now to can or freeze for a taste of summer this winter!

If you look closely at the arrows in the picture you'll see little gray bugs crawling all over this zucchini plant and all over the ground next to it. These are called squash bugs. They are infamous pests that are the thorn in the side of many gardeners and organic farmers.

The squash bug is common throughout the United States. It mainly attacks squash and pumpkins but can also attack other plants in the cucurbit family, such as cucumbers. Squash bugs suck the sap out of leaves and cause yellow spots that later turn brown. They can cause young plants to wilt and die...and that is exactly what happened to our last planting of zucchini and yellow summer squash this year!

In all of my 15 seasons of farming I have never seen squash bugs completely wipe out an entire planting of squash, let alone destroy it in one week! Typically the squash bugs may do some damage or find the weakest plants out of a large planting and stay in a more isolated area. This particular time they started at one end of the field and within a few days had killed about 300 plants. Last week we had about 30 plants that were left that we were hoping would hold out, and over the weekend it looks like they disintegrated into the ground! The astonishing thing is that these plants were just about to start producing fruit so they were pretty big and when I look at the beds now it appears as though nothing was ever planted there -- almost completely bare soil.

This is a bummer because it means no summer squash or zucchini for the rest of the season, because now it is too late in the year to plant again and get any fruit before it freezes. But, as farmers we always try to learn from the inevitable mistakes that happen, whether they are our own fault or mother nature's. Continual improvement is the name of the game and it's a long game!

Sorry there's no more squash or zucchini! :(

See you next week,
Farmer Chloe