Monday, August 3, 2009

Saying goodbye ...

Say goodbye.

Goodbye to the 10-foot tall tomato plants.
Goodbye to the 6 varieties of Heirloom tomatoes grown from seed, lovingly raised in the greenhouse last winter.
Goodbye to the lush plants around the tomatoes, including giant okra, parsley, jalapeno peppers and red bell peppers.
Goodbye to my towering jungle.
All because of HIM! And his hundreds and hundreds of cousins and uncles and nephews and babies.


And I mean everywhere.

So one of my "guys" came over yesterday and ripped the guts out of my whole garden. And me, for that matter. It was hard to watch.
So, with the truck full of my formerly beautiful plants, he drove off with what was the promise of my fall tomato crop -- up until a week ago.

And I was left to squash and squeeze and stomp on literally 150 of those #$%^&*#&* bugs -- just on the ground! And climbing on the empty tomato cages. I killed about 25 more today. I will check again tomorrow, but I think they are all gone or dead.

There are only 2 things left in the garden -- the strawberries and the basil, which weren't infested and don't seem to have drawn them. My fingers are crossed for them. But I am diligently checking them several times a day.

My goal: To eradicate the *&$#@%*&# bugs so that I can plant new teeny tiny tomato plants this weekend for a fall crop. We are blessed with two seasons here and the time to plant is NOW. I figure if a few bugs show back up, I can handle killing them on a few couple inch-high plants! The jungle, not so much.

I WAS planning on an amazing crop from my huge existing plants. (Did I mention that? sigh.)

Ok -- I am not over it. But it's gone. So, now I am making a list:

some compost
some new mulch
a few new marigolds (fat lot of good THEY did keeping the bad bugs out!)

Tomorrow is a new day.


Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I caught a pair of them making babies on my last surviving tomato plant yesterday. They were dispatched violently. Stupid bugs.

Annie in Austin said...

Oh Diana, I'm so sorry to read these last two posts about the blankety-blank Leaf-footed stink bugs. Haven't seen them in such numbers here but they're still a serious pest.

Just wish I'd waited until tomorrow to read this post... thinking about you squishing 150 at once is gonna give me nightmares!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Diana said...

Annie -- They just about DID give me nightmares...I was seeing them when I closed my eyes this weekend. Guess I get a fresh start on a fall garden now, whether I want it or not!

Debbi -- Good for you -- keep after them. It's us against THEM!

Pam/Digging said...

Eew. That's a lot of bugs to stomp. I'm sorry to hear you lost your crop of 'maters. If only the store-bought tasted as good, right?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Darn the luck. I wonder if the drought has driven them to your green oasis. What a lot of bugs. I feel your pain of seeing your plants being eaten alive.

Janet said...

oh I am so sorry. I am losing all my tomatoes to larger pests....squirrels! We got one ONE so far this year.

Caroline said...

Ugh. I'm so sorry.

getgrounded said...

Oh, Diana, I know that broke your heart. But obviously it hasn't broken your spirit - try, try again, yes? perhaps I'll be running into you on Saturday mornings at Sunset Valley Farmer's Market for a few weeks, then...great tomatoes there, at least. Is it really worth it to garden in central Texas?

Lori said...

Oh, EW!


Leaf-footed bugs freak me out on their own, but this many would have sent me screaming into the distance, never to return. Hopefully they'll run out of stuff to snack on and die before the fall tomato season. Fingers crossed.

Patchwork said...

So sorry about your plants. I hope you got them all.

Northern Shade said...

How disappointing after all of your hard work and nurturing, to have such a bad infestation. To have to remove them all, when they were so mature, must be especially frustrating. I hope the last of the bugs are gone, and that you can raise a new crop without them.

Lancashire rose said...

I'm sorry you have been visited by the leaf footed bugs. They have been a pain for me as well. Last year when I wasn't around to control them they did in my summer tomato crop. They suck the juices and leave behind those hard yellow areas. The only way to kill these and the harlequins is to break their life cycle. That means making sure none overwinter in the garden. They overwinter as adults in the garden debris. Every morning in early summer I would go out and see if there were any orange hatchlings and every one got the finger pinch. Including the adults. I even found them on my poppies in the spring. I hope you have better luck with your fall crop but keep a look out for them in other parts of the garden. They have to eat and they will find something out there!

Lisa A. said...

That is HORRIBLE! I absolutely hate hearing that. I'm glad you still have time to replant some things for fall. Squish one of those bugs for me!

Gail said...

Dear Diana, Oh no! I am so very sorry to hear this news! You were so excited about your tomatoes! I saw one of those horrid creatures on a plant recently...and smashed it! I hope you got them all including any egg sacs left on foliage! Good luck. gail

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Wow...these are annoying, to say the least. We don't have them here, but of course we have assorted other nuisances. Oh, and rain, fog, and drizzle. I just invited you, Pam, Annie and any other beleaguered Austin gardeners up here for a soggy respite from heat, drought and bad bugs. ;-)