...Homemade Rainbows...


Thursday, September 25, 2008

A cute spotty spring problem....

I love the new sprouting growth of Spring thanks to it's warmer weather....and a few late afternoon stormy showers. I'm certain if I sat still long enough I could actually see the movement of new leaves popping from dormant winter branches. It's so fast and bright green and...perfectly formed.
But unfortunately that's where the perfection ends....especially in my organic garden. Along with warmth and new growth come opportunistic and hungry bugs. Yes, bugs. All kinds.
My garden is viewed as a veritable free feast in the warmer months. I battle the heat and drought to try and maintain vigour so these tiny voracious beasts do minimal damage. It's a swift and close battle. I'm happy to share if they are happy to share but I think most of the time they fail to understand the concept.
So with Spring and Summer comes a comparable change in myself too from satisfied, plodding, pottering and meek gardener to a militant, hardened and vengeful hunter! I tell you this with a big gulp and a large chunk of slinking guilt.....

Can you see this cute little ladybug? There's another just to the left. It's a 28 spotted ladybug. Unfortunately it's my latest foe. It's cute little mandibles are devouring and destroying my potatoes. It's not the friendly helpful ladybug we all love at all. Look.....
Mia has been my ally in the start of this battle, hunting and collecting as many small round orange bodies as she can find for her study and "care". She has a love of bugs and small animals just like her Mama did at the same age....only she hasn't realised yet that you end up killing them with your kindness. I guess if I have to rid my plants of feeders it's not too bad a way to go is it?..being "loved" to death?

My fig tree is sprouting away beautifully and it's leaves are so fresh and untouched I wondered as I inspected it today how long it would be before I would see my first fig leaf beetle also. Well I did not have to wait long because by the time my eyes gazed to the top of the tree I had found her. These guys spend their days mating and laying eggs on the leaves. The grubs can decimate a tree in no time devouring leaf after leaf. The only way to control them is to pluck and....yes crush.
I'm sorry bug lovers....but the battle has already begun in my backyard this warm season. I'm always working on enriching our soil and now we have easy access to water I can hopefully keep up with maintaining healthy growth in our hot hot summer so I think there may just be fewer invertebrate casualties this year,but if not I just hope you don't think less of me for my pluck/squish methods....

3 comments:

Sabrina said...

I'm so sorry about the garden invaders. So much better to pluck and squish rather than poison with pesticides.

I used to be the kind of person unable to hurt a fly, but gardening turned me into a bug squisher. Oh how the Japanese beetles love my plants!

Good luck winning the battle.

Levin (and Emily) said...

it such a hard battle isn't it. and even if you companion plant, the bugs still seem to come.
good luck with your battle - at least your bugs aren't slowly being poisoned!
l
x

Rest is not idleness said...

Squish and squash is the best, so satisfying as well. Now I must get out to the garden and have a look at my potato plants.
Take care
Pip