Lady Bug Life
Well it’s Friday. Another week nearing completion. It’s a mighty windy day. The chickens are dodging one another in the shadows and drift ever so slightly. That’s yarrow growing in my first butterfly garden bed. It’s an excellent choice for encouraging beneficial insects to your yard. Flame acanthus, butterfly weed, candytuft, and sunflower are in the picture too.
I’ve been playing a lot of music the past two days. Rewriting old songs to make them better. Playing favorite songs of my favorite artist of all time, Tom Petty. I love all music and have so many favorites and influences but Petty stole my heart from a very young age. I started really listening to him when I was eleven. The most favorite collection that I’ve aquired of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers is the Playback album. The whole band is a masterpiece. The sound on each album is completely transformational at times sounding like the Grateful Dead and even Bob Dylan. If you are a fan, you must get your hands on it. It’s my fave!
Getting ready to finish planting more in the garden beds. I’ve been pulling out all the giant weeds and have found oodles of lady bug nests on a variety of weeds. We are letting our front lawn overgrow with yellow clover. It naturally amends the soil and the chickens love it! I’ve been landscaping back via lasagna gardening style because it seems the most convenient for now. Basically transplanting my cherry bushes and some other perennials with some compost, dirt, humate, kelp, mixture, cardboard, and pine woodchips. The county gives us access to free wood chipsbut we haven’t gotten any yet. We plan to minimize mowing by xeriscaping some areas, while also allowing the clay underneath to decompose into magical dirt by next year. If we weren’t in such a drought stricken region we could turn the soil sooner. Hopefully by next winter we will be able to grow other cover crops and a variety of whole grains.
Look for ladybugs and larvae on your weeds. They love to eat aphids and other things on them. Also, check out what the larvae look like so that you don’t harm them during their precious development stage. They look similar to other insect eggs which can make it difficult. Make sure they are in a cluster like this. I found an awesome pic from Helen M.Roman, to show you what to look for from start to finish. Pretty amazing. Now you know who the good guys are! Keep them in your gardens, and wait before you mow too soon. These beetles need all the help they can get. They are one of the best beneficial insects you can have!