we take the naps we think we deserve
Mainly because I have several health conditions which interfere with bending and digging, etc., in the ground, I decided to search websites for ideas on making a butterfly garden in containers. I decided since I was going to plant flowers, I might as well go ahead and plant some veggies. My son built me a small fenced-in area to grow my veggies, so the deer and other critters couldn’t eat up all my veggies—that is if I had any luck getting them to grow. I’ve been having so much fun buying different colored pots, dirt, and planting every couple of days, and of course continuously reading about everything. My son decided he even wanted a couple of broccoli plants. We ended up buying several tomato plants, a couple of herbs, and some peppers. I didn’t want to use pesticides since I wanted to attract butterflies. I started searching natural ways to get rid of insects, especially those nasty little aphids. I then read about people using ladybug beetles to eat a lot of different critters and would you believe, aphids were their favorite meal! I read more and went to Amazon’s website (of course!) and read a lot of reviews on ordering ladybird beetles, some not so good. I decided that I was going to get me some little beetles, regardless. I was so fascinated by the whole life-cyle they went thru and even more impressed by how they loved aphids and other destructive insects. I then waited for the little carnivores to arrive. I had bought several tomato plants and a Goliath bush in particular. That plant is so fruitful and had a couple of little tomatoes when I bought it. One of my son’s giant broccoli plants was living up to it’s name. The gods must have been smiling because our veggies were growing fast and looking really good, just in a few weeks. And then, it seemed like overnite his broccoli had tiny holes in every leaf, except one. My now flourishing tomato plants had a few bites also. I snipped off all of the leaves and his poor broccoli only had the one leave left. I couldn’t wait for my beetles to get here and I didn’t have to.
My son’s job (bless his heart) is to get the mail when he comes home from school. I had went out to the backyard when I got home from work and just played in the dirt and waited for the cute little killers. I remembered reading that the ladybird beetles also ate broccoli worms, which is what I had found out was eating everything. I didn’t even know there was such a worm. I went into the house and into the office to track my order from Amazon. That’s when I found a box marked “Perishable” on my desk. My son never even mentioned I got a box! The box was crushed from where the postman had bent it to fit in the mailbox. I would have been mad if I hadn’t been so excited. I told myself most of them would be dead because of their travel, being crushed, and sitting for several hours without being refrigerated. When I opened the box, I saw some movement so I just immediately put them in the frig and left them alone. That was just a couple of nites ago and since it was going to rain all weekend, I decided last nite would be my first release. My son kept telling me they were dead because they weren’t moving. I laughed and told him they were just sleeping.
So last nite, while there was a brief intermission from the rain, I took the mesh bag out of the frig. Within a couple of minutes, there was a frenzy as they all of them started moving everywhere in the bag. I took them to my garden and started shaking some out. I wasn’t sure how many to release since my container garden is so small. The instructions say to release some and not all at once so I’m taking them out tonite and releasing some more. I plan to do this several more times. I went to my garden a couple of hours ago and there the little boogers were, happily eating. I even saw a couple of them already mating (blush)!
I know there have been several reviewers who said they followed the instructions to the letter and they still received dead beetles and/or they all flew away. I’m sure many more didn’t want to follow directions. It appears none of mine are dead and so far none have flown away. I don’t care if they do fly away, it’s just so awesome to know what they do to bad insects and their whole metamorphasis. Oh, I also bought the Ladybug Lure to try and make them stay!
I mean seriously, no more than they cost, it’s worth ordering some and trying them out, just for the experience if nothing else!
Thank you, Amazon and Hirt’s!
(I guess I’ll have to order some butterfly larvae now!:):))"