The Last Squash of Summer

The harvest trug is full of peppers and tomatoes and the last two squash of summer, a spaghetti squash and a 'Cue Ball' squash.I love the 'Cue Ball' squash but am happy to have picked the last one this weekend. They weren't kidding when they said this is a prolific squash plant. This was the first squash I picked way back on July 1, back before we realized it really wasn't going to rain most of the summer. It is a fitting end that it also be the last one I picked for this year.

I'm going to plant it again next year! Now that I know how much one plant will produce, I'll just plant a little less of it, and I'll still have plenty. I'm almost starting to miss these little round summer squash already, except I still have six or so sitting on the table waiting for me to do something with them or give them away.

I know this is the last squash I'm picking this year because I pulled up all the squash plants this weekend. And when I did that, scads of squash bugs went scurrying around as fast as they could, wondering what happened to their little world.
You might try clicking on the picture to see it "full screen" and then you'll see all the squash bugs. There were all sizes of them but for some reason only two made it into this picture. They must be camera shy and scattered when they saw the lens.

I don't usually do anything to control them, other than harvest the squash as fast as I can and rotate crops between the raised beds. They did seem particularly bad this year for whatever reason so I hope this isn't an indication of what they will be like next year.

I can't believe I'm already thinking about next year's vegetable garden, that this year's garden is nearly finished. This is early for me to start cleaning up the vegetable garden, but the squash bugs along with the drought contributed to what I consider to be the early demise of all the cucurbit crops and it was time to clean them up, along with the green beans.

Here's a view of the garden after I finished my initial clean up.
I left the corn standing because I like to hear the rustling of the stalks in the wind. I also left the tomatoes and peppers because they are still producing. And I left the flowers because they may be the only flowers I have for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th.

Just a day or so after I completed the clean up and had raked the empty beds smooth, I noticed all kinds of bunny footprints in them. What could those bunnies possibly still be eating out there? And could they please stay out of the cleaned up raised beds, I had them all nice and neat and leveled off.


  1. I love that you showed us your empty, clean beds! I worked for 8+ hours in mine last week pulling weeds and grass and spraying tomatoes for bugs and cleaning up dead tomato foliage. I was so proud that the beds looked decent again, I almost posted em. Then I figured that was what they were supposed to look like if I were a more diligent gardener!!!! So I didn't post em!

  2. Gosh, I still think a well maintained veggie garden is one of the most beautiful types of gardens!! Yours are gorgeous!!
    do you ever plant bulbs in yours, Carol??

  3. wow! now that's a spotless bed! it's funny that you posted this today. I've been thinking that I really need to start pulling stuff out of my kitchen garden but I don't have a compost bin to put it in and i just can't bring myself to do it, yet. plus, I used that black cloth and I am really not looking forward to seeing the ground after I pull it up. Nice work, Carol!

  4. Mine are all about gone but one plant which is still alive. Not for long though. I still got plenty of zukes this summer.

  5. Your harvest trug full of the garden's bounty is beautiful. It could be on the cover of Rodale's "Organic Gardening" mag.

    The corn stalks would be nice for a fall arrangement near your front entrance. Add a few pumpkins and you're all set!

    The bunnies are just trying to figure out the best place for next year's bunny condo . . . .

  6. Thanks for posting about the bugs. The drought was hard on the pumpkins this year. We thought we would have plenty, but then only 3 made it to maturity, and then the bugs got those. Now we have no pumpkins. We were out buying hostas at a local growers this weekend and she said their pumpkin harvest is minimal this year as is everyone else's that she has talked with. Yep, between the drought and the bugs, there won't be any jack-0-laterns this year :-(

  7. I really don't like squash bugs! Don't give up on the garden now! I found bok choy and collards at the local garden center and they also had lettuce and other cole crops. I did put in some bok choy and collards and I planted lettuce about two weeks ago with some beets. I'll get beet greens anyway. Also, spinach and swiss chard are good fall growers and last but not least, the garlic is on its' way! The clean beds look very satisfying don't they! I love those raised beds. I put raised beds in the garden years ago and my Dad, who was a great 'linear' vegetable gardener, asked me who I had buried there. LOL He was a very practical man.

  8. Wait, do you mean to say that you don't have blooms for GBBD? Aren't you feeling all sorts of pressure to resort to artifical fertilizers? LOL! I love your raised beds. It's sort of what I've done with my vegetable container garden, though mine is obviously on a much smaller scale. Unfortunately between not owning the property where we live and garden, the massive tree roots in the only space that gets enough sun for a veggie garden, and our complete lack of carpentry skills, I don't see raised beds in my future. So I love seeing photos of yours and dreaming about one day...

  9. I love the basket on your "new" purple bench. It's a beautiful photo, Carol.

    I need zucchini advice. I never get enough. I may put a call out on my blog sometime because I just never have those zucchini harvests we all read about. I hoard the few I get.

  10. And another question - how do you cultivate raised beds? With one of your zillion hoes? :<) You can't get a rototiller in there, can you?

  11. Hi Carol,

    I thought you were suppose to be resting?! You are putting us all to shame with all the work you've done.

    Don't forget your contribution to the Garden Bloggers' Muse Day which has been extended to Sept. 4 due to the long Labor Day weekend.

  12. Summer has flown by - a tiring, hot summer. And we are already thinking and planning next year when there's another few weeks of summer left. Maybe we are in a hurry to forget the drought's dirty deed?

    Your gardens look very organized and tidy, Carol.

  13. I LOVE the look of clean garden beds. I'm impressed. I also have a lo-o-ong way to go to catch up to you. I'm thinking maybe I'll pretend YOUR beds are really MINE. NAH! I'd never believe that -- even for a minute.

  14. Diana... you should post pictures of your beds if they are all cleaned up!

    Sissy... I've never planted bulbs in the vegetable garden before, but maybe I will since you suggested it. I also think a vegetable garden can be quite pretty.

    Gina... It will be easier to clean up that garden now than when it is cold outside.

    Curtis... the end of the vegetable garden this season is inevitable for all of us, isn't it?

    Alyssa... thanks for the nice compliment. I hope those bunnies aren't trying to scope things out for next year!

    Sister with the Homestead... That's too bad about the pumpkins. Hopefully you'll be able to find at least one to make a jack-o-lantern out of this fall.

    Layanee...Funny you should bring up fall crops, I've decided to try some lettuce to see how that goes. My Dad didn't plant much in the fall, which is why I think I don't. He was also a "linear" gardener, so not sure what he would say about my raised beds.

    Heather... very minimal carpentry skills are needed to make these raised beds, but I can understand why you wouldn't want to get them all set up when you rent. I've been looking around and I might have a few new blooms for GBBD!

    Nan... I'm not sure why your zucchini wouldn't produce. Maybe not enough bees to pollinate? With raised beds, no rototilling is necessary. I do just hoe them up a bit, rake them smooth and then plant. Since I never walk on them, the soil doesn't get all compacted like in a "regular vegetable garden".

    Carolyn Gail... Resting? I was resting my mind by working in the garden. It's good to be physically tired for a change and not just mentally tired.

    Mary... Yes, it will be good to put this dry, hot summer in the rear view mirror, but I sure don't look forward to cold and snow. Could it please be May all year round?

    Dirty Knees...You can pretend my beds are yours if you would like, I take that as a nice compliment.

    Thanks all for the kinds words and comments... much appreciated!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  15. What you call a squash bug,
    we call a stink bug. If you happen to squash it there is a terrible smell

  16. Your purple bench makes the colors of the veggies all the more striking. What a bountiful and pretty harvest.

  17. It looks great - apart from that horrible fake trug. To do justice to your produce you should be using a proper trug - not a cheap import and help save a dying craft. Get one at


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