Sunday, June 12, 2011
Never Hire a Butterfly to Protect the Garden
As beautiful as they are, butterflies are just no good at protecting the garden.
See the pretty beans getting ready to climb the tepee poles? Well, today only a few remain standing, cut off as if snipped with scissors. Some say the culprit was a deer, some say a bunny. I'm not certain but very few bunnies survive the stray cats, most deer do.
My husband made a trip to the farm supply store to purchase posts and organic deer deterrent. We strung fishing line between each pole about chest high (to a deer) around each garden bed. Then I placed tomato cages over a couple of the bush beans and hung pie tins from twine between the garden rows. A final tin hangs in the middle of the tepee and give a little added noise protection. The organic deer spray is quite nice smelling, sort of minty/menthol.
Butterflies are also no help whatsoever when it comes to grape blight called black rot, a common fungus in Missouri that lives on the ground rather than on the grapes. Our local extension office provided some direction on how to treat it, annually. The grapes will begin to develop and then start to turn red and then wilt away to blackness. My husband said he has started to see improvement so hopefully this multi-step program will be successful.
They also let in Tent Caterpillars which I promptly removed from the tree before they decide to spread. Isn't it amusing that we plant pretty flowers to attract butterflies and decorative moths and then become upset with the resulting caterpillars? In this case, neither the mom nor her offspring are terribly attractive and the damage far outweighs allowing them to stay.
On the Brighter Side:
We do have some wonderful black raspberries and blackberries.
With many more on the way!
The Stella D'Oro day lilies are doing well and the hostas magnificent, although I saw a few slugs sneaking in
Well, tomorrow is another day. I think I'll hire the assassin bug next time.