1. I have these flower bulbs on my onions. What do they mean? See photo 2. I...

Asked June 27, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

1. I have these flower bulbs on my onions. What do they mean? See photo 2. I have been battling squash bugs the last few years. This year, I moved the squash to a different location but, alas, I have noticed the brown eggs on some leaves. I have destroyed the eggs which I found. What other defense do I have? Are there herbs or plants which deter squash bugs?

Worcester County Maryland

1 Response

The flowers on your onions are just that. They should be removed so that energy is put into growing the onion instead of the flower and seed production. The onions may not grow to as large as they would have had the blooming stalk been removed.
For your squash bugs, you are doing the right thing by monitoring for eggs and destroying them. There are some other options too.
Some you need to start early... including the season before. Crop clean-up/early sanitation is useful. Pull up plants as soon as they finish fruiting and bag them, close it tight and let it bake in the sun for a few days to kill a large amount. Also, in the fall after clean up, leave a few young squash in the bed so that those looking to winter over in it/on it come to it and can be destroyed. This works for several weeks so check it.
Early in the growing season, the use of floating row covers (a gossamer thin fabric which lets in light and water is very effective. You leave that on until the plants bloom. Likewise, when the plants are 4-5 inches tall, sprinkling 2 handfuls of wood ashes around each plant (don't touch the plant with it) works to keep them off.
Right now, you can lay boards in your garden and squash bugs will hide there during the day. Each morning, turn the boards over and squish (or squash!) them.
Starting early in the season you can spray insecticidal soap on adult bugs every 2-3 days for 2 weeks during their first appearances. Keep watch and repeat if needed. Contact of all leaf surfaces are needed.