Monday, September 13, 2010

Simple Tricks For A Healthy Garden

I would have never thought myself to be a bug girl. It was when I began my organic gardening did I find out that the creepy stuff is what makes all those beautiful flowers, vegetables and fruit grow so well. I never understood that all the years and time I spent working in commercial greenhouses. There I learned when you spot a bug kill it. I was shocked one day when my supervisor was in a panic killing butterflies.I think that was the trigger for me that something is not quite right with this picture.She noticed the look of horror on my face and so explained to me that butterflies produce caterpillars that eat the plants. I thought to myself, yes that would not be a good thing in all these greenhouses full of spectacular color ready for market. I also had a heartache over the dead butterflies. As like most little girls, I grew up loving them. To me they are majestic winged ladies flying about my flowers pollinating. I guess I never thought about the caterpillars doing damage. Non the less I was very naive about all the chemicals and pesticides we were pouring and spraying everyday to keep everything sterile. In the greenhouse in those days for me I learned all bugs were bad bugs.
In this photo of some Zinnias growing in my garden, I was lucky enough that the picture included a ragmop on top of the flower. You can see the little white hairy creature busy about its business. This ragmop is actually one of the several species of Ladybug in its larvae stage. Yes, I was surprised to learn one day that there are more than one kind of ladybug. Most of them are very creepy looking in there larvae stage. They look like disgusting miniature alligators with lots of legs and pointy things on them. However they all turn into sweet looking Ladybugs that we all know and love, only some in reverse that are black with red spots, some are kind of orange, the spots can be a little different. It's amazing to me the bug world. If I had been using chemicals in my garden I would have been killing the butterflies and the ladybugs. I depend greatly on ladybugs for consuming aphids on my plants. I also depend on the beautiful butterflies to pollinate my flowers and bring me joy. I just plant a little extra for the caterpillars and all is well within my garden.

Have a beautiful and blessed Organic Garden Day!!


  1. Dear God forgive me!! You don't know how many of those white things I have killed. Back in Guatemala we called them "chinches". I did not know they were future Ladybugs. Is that why I see them mixed in with the aphids? I thought it was another disgusting aphid-thingy!!! Will never kill them again.

  2. LOL Ruth, yes that is why they are with the aphids. The flower that one is on is next to a neglected vineing bean plant that had been covered in aphids. Good food for the ladybugs.