Friday, February 19, 2016

This Week in the Garden: A Little Rain Must Fall...

This week has been a bit of a bummer in the garden, I must confess. After weeks of dry weather, rain finally came, along with damaging gales which cracked several large branches on our big old trees (fortunately, no damage to the property, just the trees), decimated my young passionfruit vines, and cracked/flattened plants all over the place.  Even my onions stems are cracked!  It looks like this weekend will involve some serious unscheduled garden clean-up activities.

Of course, the wild weather has done absolutely nothing to deter our abnormally abundant pests.  Inspecting things when the weather cleared earlier today, the passionvine hoppers are back in epic proportions.  My efforts with diatomaceous earth and bee-safe sprays may have curbed the population in our yard for a while, but now that most have molted to mobile form, it seems that my pesticide-free garden  has become the local diner.  And its not just the hoppers. More recently, pear and cheery slug damage has appeared on my young fruit trees.  These little beasties look like slugs, but are actually sawfly larvae.  Females lay eggs on the leaves and their larva chow down after hatching before pupating in the soil to start the whole cycle over again.  I also found a green vegetable shield bug (stink bug) sunbathing on my squash plant this afternoon - hopefully he or she is a loner!

On the bight-side, at least I have plenty of helpful predators hanging around, like this orb spider that I spotted tucked into the petals of a hydrangea for an afternoon siesta.  the orb spider weaves/repairs by night and hides from predators outside the web by day, keeping a watchful leg on his trap using a snare thread to the web. Let's hope he's hungry for passionvine hoppers!!!

What's happening in and around your garden this week?  Whatever your garden/green news, we would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment or post us a message on the GiRL Facebook page I look forward to sharing our garden with you as it grows.  

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