This is a look back at one of my favorite moments of this Summer. These pictures really make me smile! So does the new software I downloaded for making these great collages. It is called Picnik and you can find it here. Thank you, Helen, for sharing.
Now, back to my story. I was having a major problem with aphids in the herb garden and one day I happened upon a very organic method of getting rid of them while shopping for seeds at the feed store. Lady bugs! You can't get much more organic than that. They came in a little tub full of some kind of food they like and wood shavings. I think there were about 1,000 cute little red ladies (and gentlemen) and they cost just over eight dollars for the tub. They were to be stored in the refrigerator until their release which was to take place at dusk. You have to water the plants you release them on very thoroughly because they come out thirsty and if there is no water where you want them to be, they will fly away immediately in search of some. My aphid problem was concentrated on the arugula, so I watered all the little plants and at dusk my number one assistant, Harrison, helped me set them free. They immediately covered the plants and went to work eating up those pesky aphids. Harrison and I had fun and even kept a few for the lady bug house his cousins got him for his birthday.
While we were busy releasing lady bugs, our pretty alpha hen, Henrietta, was busy killing a snake she found in the garden near our old red barn. Another great reason for keeping chickens around!
The lady bugs hung around for a few days and then moved on to greener pastures. I think our lady bug to aphid ratio was not adequate for total elimination. I ended up harvesting what was salvageable and added the rest to the compost heap. It was time to replant for the Fall anyway! Next time I'll buy more lady bugs and start earlier.
Time to bug off!