Before I left town, my garden was predominately healthy. I saw what could be the first signs of borers on one squash plant, but that was all. Everything seemed to be promising a healthy harvest.

I went away for a week and a half, leaving my brother in charge of watering the garden. Surely the garden could survive a week and a half without me watching it, right?

Wrong. Although my brother tried his best to keep up with the watering, I came home to find my garden overgrown and infested with vine borers. My squash plants no longer look very promising. As you can see in the picture, they had drooped sadly, and weeds had sprung up all around them. I learned my lesson—I couldn’t take time off gardening without expecting negative results.

My Squash Plant

My ruined garden has been reminding me that we need to guard our hearts vigilantly. Worldly ideas, like pests and weeds, are constantly trying to invade our thinking. So remember, even though you may be “off” school for a few more weeks, don’t stop tending the gardens in your children’s hearts!

–Katherine Loop