Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today in the Garden

I had intended to till the soil in the garden bed and plant all my squash seeds. Half way through, I was so freaked out by the number of bugs in the dirt that I had to stop and take a shower. I still feel itchy. I know I should be grateful for beneficial insects and all they do for my garden, but truth be told - I really hate bugs. At first it was the paper wasps, buzzing around me while looking for materials to build their nest. I was tempted to locate that nest and erradicate them, however I'm holding out hope that they'll use the hornworms (that are no doubt only a few weeks away) to feed their young. Then it was the white grubs, which I naively mistook for beneficial worms - a quick google images search nipped that in the bud. I only saw two, however I'm sure there are more.. I saw lots and lots of ants and pill bugs - very typical for Georgia. And then. And then.. Every time I turned over another shovel full of soil, I found dozens of little white bugs desperately searching to find a way back underground. I wasn't certain what these were at first, but after some research, I'm pretty sure they're termites. Joy of joys. Are all of these bugs the result of more organic matter in my soil? Part of me is wondering if I should introduce some nematodes to the mix to help keep all the creepy crawlies in check. Has anyone had any experience with this?

In other news, I was pretty certain I had killed my beloved meyer lemon tree. A few months ago temperatures were in the 60s and they were predicting snow the next afternoon. The weather was too beautiful and I wasn't buying this threat of snow, so I left the tree outside. Of course, it snowed, and this is what my lovely lemon tree looked like after the snow melted:

What a sad sight - I was certain I'd killed it. But guess what??? We have new leaves!!

Turns out it didn't die after all. Who knows if I'll get a crop this year, but I can be patient - and more careful next year.


Annie's Granny said...

If you really want to know how to kill lemon trees, I can give ya a lesson. I'm real good at it!

Want some wire worms to add to your grubs, pillbugs and termites? Why can't the birds eat those instead of my peas and lettuce?

Meredith said...

Oh, hon, I feel your pain. Even though I am learning to appreciate and even love some insects in the garden, termites do gross me out. (You should probably get that checked if they are near the house. Makes me wonder what they are eating, to be reproducing so well...)

But bravo for going organic. I suspect your insect populations will come more into balance over time as you ditch the chemicals and let them sort it out the old-fashioned way. It's a bug-eat-bug world. ;)

Erin said...

I've got termites too! In my case it is due to a tree stump that is literally inside one of my raised beds! I had to take a pine tree down and build a raised bed there, but since hubby was deployed and I couldn't get the stump out myself, I just chopped it close to the ground and filled the bed, lol! I did some research, and apparently they will not bother your plants, the main concern is keeping them away from the house, since most everyone has large populations of termites naturally but don't notice until they hit a structure. We have white grubs too (Japanese Beetle larvae), yuck!

Ribbit said...

I'm so glad to see your lemon tree is doing better. We're enjoying the beautiful GA weekend weather these last two days. I hope you're doing the same!