Bonafide Farm

Another great use for the flame thrower

July 31st, 2011 § 0

I spent three hours in the garden this afternoon, sweating it out in 100-degree heat indices. I’d neglected the garden for too long, and with our two-week stretch of 90+ temps and no rain, things were looking bad.

With the hose running all the while, I cut my losses and pulled out the squash-bug infested pumpkin vines. It makes me sad as I find pumpkins to be one of the most rewarding plants to grow, and I’ve had success with them in other gardens. But these vines were so infested that I knew it was better to get rid of them. There would be no Prince Charming this fall.

With the vines removed, I faced the challenge of how to dispose of them. Burning is the recommended option for infected crops, but I didn’t want to clear out the fire pit and sacrifice all the firewood it would take to get things good and hot. Then I had a flash of inspiration: my flame thrower. It targets blistering heat that no bug could survive.


I dumped my refuse in the driveway and went to work. Squash bug eggs went from this:


To this:


I wish I could take the flame thrower to the infested beds to get the rest of the buggers left hiding in the straw, but I fear the heat would damage beneficial worms and microbes. My next inspiration involves turning Mr. King Guinea, who has taken it upon himself to harass his ladies and the hens, out into the garden to free range and pick up the remaining pests. There may be more damage to crops than critters, but I may just give it a shot.

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