Re: [gardeners] Home!

Liz Albrook (
Fri, 19 Jun 1998 02:28:59 +0000 <> wrote:

> The six squash plants that were here before we left had become 
> five (a rabbit, no doubt) but the five were only about six inches 
> high with an eight inch spread. Ah Ha, I thought, the threatened 
> stinging squash invasion was just a leg-pull, a joke, a fiction.
> Digging up the winter savory to consign it to the compost, I saw some 
> very strange roots . . . large, succulent, tenacious. Tracing them 
> back to the point of origin, I came to the squash. Oh My! Hurriedly, 
> I dug up the spot where the absent squash had been -- the same 
> tenacle roots and they resist even my honed-to-a-fine-sharpness 
> Dutch hoe.
> Gardeners know that plant & root have roughly the same ratio as 
> visible to invisible iceberg. My squash -- fighting the rocky soil 
> have determined to use their roots to FIRST CONQUER THE ROCKS and 
> then put on their top growth. But I can't pull up the roots and five 
> remaining plants resist any effort to pull them up.


My condolences on your distressing gardening situation.  I recall the 
period of time when that Earl Campbell variety sat timidly in my 
garden, apparently minding it's own business.  I thought it an 
innocuous plant -- after all Johnny's Seeds catalog did say it wasn't 
a particularly productive variety though a mighty tasty one.  No 
normal garden plant was this -- it was merely mustering its resources 
before sallying forth to do battle against every living entity on the 
face of the planet.  I warn you -- launch your mightiest weapons 
against them quickly while there's still a slim chance of survival.  

I fear not only for your safety and that of your NGP, but also for
the health and well being of all the residents of Fredericksburg
and, indeed, Texas. Those rampant roots sound to me as if the E.C.
zucchini is the inverse of kudzu.  Rather than mindlessly
overrunning your car, home, utility pole and NGP, this menace is
more subtle.  Possibly these roots will spread throughout the area
then, suddenly, up will pop those writhing green tentacles at
diverse points throughout the county.  Beware, they know their enemy
well -- the first victim to fall will no doubt be the county
extension agent.  I suggest that you call your well-educated Aggie
and warn him of the imminent danger.  I pray that other Aggies have
not yet taken over the Texas legislature else you may be jailed for
failing to obtain permission from your agent before planting such an
enviromentally hazardous species.

> Will our troubles never end?  

In a word -- No!

> Is this how our civilization will fall? 

In a word -- Yes!

> This morning I've put defoliant on the rest of the squash plants, but 
> as I exited the fenced area (I AM a responsible neighbor! There are 
> small children across the road, and I didn't want them to wander onto 
> squash) I heard a low chuckle. There is no one on the place but me 
> and the dog, and he looks troubled -- he wouldn't be chuckling. I 
> didn't chuckle. COULD IT HAVE BEEN THE SQUASH?

Undoubtably!  I, too, have heard that evil, hateful laugh. Perhaps
the legend of the Sirens isn't truly a legend.  Perhaps the E.C.
zucchini are the true Sirens, seducing us with their proffered
fruit, patiently awaiting the approach of the unwary or weak-minded
in order to lure a victim into a stinging embrace of death.

Beware the blossom of the evil beast for it produces a fruit of
prodigious proportions in less than a twinkling of an eye.  Matters 
of delicacy demand that I say no more than this:  if you fail to 
pick the fruit before midmorning on the day it is set then you must 
shield your eyes from that astonishing sight lest you be branded a 
morally unfit woman.

Please Pat, tell us that you are safe.  Tell us that your garden 
still thrives and that you have contained those nasty vines.