We know that summer squash grow so fast that if you miss one during harvest you'll find a Moby Zuke in a few days. But I'm a left-brained geek who likes numbers, so I planted some reference sticks next to a young Zephyr on Saturday, August 4 and checked it four days later on August 8. It had just about doubled in length and more than tripled in girth, well on its way to blimpness. That's how fast a summer squash can grow. I picked it immediately before it could scare any dogs or small children.
I noticed that some of the winter squash leaves were wilting. To me, this is clearly an indication of the presence of a squash vine borer. I gave it a couple days, and it was only getting worse.
In addition to the wilted leaves, we also appeared to have small holes in the vines near the base, and "yellow brown excrement".
To find the worm, I pressed along the main vine starting at the base until I found a soft spot (which was on the bottom of the vine). I then used a knife to cut into this spot until I could spot a worm. This is the larger worm I dug out of the squash vine.
The peak of the harvest is past, and yet we tried second plantings of some crops because we had the space, to see what would happen. With about a month to go, here's their progress.
Cabbage & Cauliflower: large leaves, producing well, but no sign of heads yet.
Carrots: leafy fronds are doing well; no sign of poking out of the ground.
Beets: alive but struggling.
Spinach: mostly eaten by Something.
Peas: half-height, base leaves yellowing, no sign of peas.
Lettuce: looking good! Might harvest some next week.
Also, here's an update on some first plantings:
Eggplant: *continues* to produce, though more slowly.
Beans: the bush beans produced another handful; the pole beans have disappointed.
Potatoes: we pulled a single plant to obtain some potatoes for display at Town Day. The number amidst the roots was extensive, and while mostly small-to-tiny, there was at least one big red one. From just one plant!
Squash: the tiny zucchini was accidently harvested; there's still a medium yellow squash; and the pattipan has several small fruits (not to mention flowers) which it thinks it has time to make bigger -- we'll see.
The mildew is back to some extent on the squash, and worse, has jumped to the other side of the garden and covered the collard leaves.
The rest of the greens (kale, chard, arugula and other herbs) still doing well.
We harvested several pattypan squash on Wednesday and Alan noticed that some of the squashes appeared to be growing upside down. It seems like these 2 different squashes were grown on 2 different plants.
Last night, we took some more zucchinis, including a very robust, slightly curved specimen, and our first pattypans, a type of squash I've seen in the store but never purchased. One curiosity about them is that they look a little individual pot pies, but some have the stem coming from the middle of the dough, and some have the stem extending from the bottom of the pan (figuratively speaking, of course).
All the squash plants are massive and seem poised to provide an avalanche of produce.