Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lovely Little Ladybug, Coming Soon to a Garden Near You

Will ladybug season be early or late? Posted by Picasa

"The ladybug's a beetle.
It's shaped like a pea.
Its color is a bright red
With lots of spots to see.
Although the name is ladybug
Some ladybugs are men.
So why don't we say "gentleman bug"
Every now and then?"
~ Author Unknown
I love ladybugs... so round and bright and spotted.. and wonderful to keep the aphids off the roses. In these parts, the garden centers get their crop of ladybugs around the first of May.. though the aphids show up earlier. They are voraciously hungry and very efficient, as within a day or two they manage to eat all the aphids. Unfortunately, they usually move on, even though we have put out special ladybug food to entice them to stay. I love to see them walking along the rose stems and seeing the tiny aphids scattering as fast as they can. Now, if only someone would find a bug who loved to eat June bugs.... they are more destructive to the roses than the aphids.

One warning about June bugs.... DO NOT use those hanging sac traps.... all they do is attract the June bugs to the trap... AND YOUR YARD! I hung one out last year and in the time it took to go in the house, look them up on the computer and read about the pitfalls... fifteen June bugs had committed suicide by entrapment. But there were even more on the roses. Apparently, the only way to effectively use these (and then only if you really dislike your neighbors) is to give them to neighbors several houses away.... let the beetles be attracted to their yards. This really is not a nice neighborly thing to do. I did read that you could collect them in a jar of dishwashing liquid and water and then blend them up into an emulsion and spray the mixture on the plants. The writers said this would repel the June beetles; I guess no one like to nibble with the scent of one's relatives around.

My shade garden is returning... columbine about to bloom, ferns curling up spirals from the mulch, the astilbe leafing out and even the leaves returning to the hydrangea.... now... hmm... is it purple with acid or basic fertilizer. I did it wrong last year and the flowers were pink... pretty but I wanted purple with green centers. And the irises I planted last year... those I took from our old house... those that I thought would surely perish since I left them in plastic wash pans with no dirt for three years... those that instead multiplied and turned 50 plants into 175....well, it looks like at least some of them will bloom this year. And with my brother coming home in late April... he will get to see them in their glory!

(end of post)
Ruby Tuesday


Sandra Hangey said...

precious little lady bug, beautiful shot, so glad your brother is coming home to visit. i know that will be a good time for you and for him.

Ramblingwoods said...

I made that mistake also....LOL... I have a spot next to the deck where we removed two privets that I want to plant, but it only gets a few hours of sunshine so I don't know what to do with it....Michelle

Ginny Hartzler said...

Oh, an Easter visit from your brother, great! How often do you get to see him? That ladybug picture is so good. It is still one of my goals to take a good ladybug picture, maybe this year!!

Kenju said...

My irises are budding and will be blooming soon, I hope. They can multiply right before your eyes! Glad to know that your bro is coming home.

Sandra Hangey said...

phooey, wheres the trees????