No, this has nothing to do with the virus. Today, I am back to talking about chemical-free gardening stuff. We are officially into the spring season, which for us means prepping, planting, and planning.
Our home has started this season as it should:
- Flies and spiders sneaking into the house.
- Little bunnies hopping all over to test our predator defenses.
- Rhubarb, tulips, iris, and several other things, popping out of the ground.
- Like every year – we have the Odd Thomas poking up out of the ground. Later it will be determined friend or foe and dealt with accordingly.
These are the standard spring bits of proof. Then we have the oddballs:
- I spotted my old nemesis – A WASP (Yellow Jacket) – grr!
- A skunk has already invaded our chicken barn for the barn cat food, pee-u.
- What would spring be without Miller moths (stay out of my hair!). It just seems a bit too early for them, but they are here.
We cut the cord a couple of years ago, so I rely heavily on the internet for my valuable data. My email box receives tons of information – daily – that I have specifically requested (vs. T.V. which bombards with junk I did not ever want to see). One such request is from my Joe Gardener.com, which originated on our local PBS channel while we still had satellite T.V. His name is Joe Lamp’l, and he is just full of excellent gardening stuff. The best part of his shows is the guests. If he doesn’t know a lot about a specific subject, he is not afraid to go to a guest source for the nuts-and-bolts of the issue. This email was about the Monarch Butterfly (one of my favorite good bugs – also endangered species.).
Several years ago, we were lucky to be witness to a Monarch migration. They came in the hundreds and landed on our trees, bushes, fences, house – you name it, they were on it. IT WAS OUTSTANDING! They did not stay long, but we felt gifted that they chose our little piece of heaven to stop for a rest.
That one-time massive visit threw me into a frenzy to find out more about them and ways to help them survive. I was not the only one that was enthralled by them. Dr. Agrawal is a professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Department of Entomology at Cornell University, was one of his guests, and spent time learning all he can about the Monarch.
This recent post by Joe shares a ton of great information, and EVERY gardener should learn. It doesn’t matter if you grow for beauty, for food, or both; you need to learn to save our nature’s helpers.
(Please feel free to join me in the Monarch Watch group to help monitor the migration and population.)
The big thing that caught my eye was “monarchs and milkweed,” of which I had forgotten how much the two are connected.
A couple of years ago, a milkweed plant sprouted in our front yard – all on its own. I took that as a sign and saved the pods. Remembering back to my childhood, we used to love popping the pods and watching the feathery seeds fly everywhere (F.Y.I. Dad hated it when we did that because they are a weed, and as such, he did not want them in his food fields. Nothing worse than having to walk a field and handpick weeds – wait – picking rock was worse.).
The milkweed is crucial to Monarch survival. Knowing this, I cherished the newbies on our property and encouraged them to continue. We do have hay and corn farmers around us, not for human food but animal food. We also have bees and a Beekeeper, that has our blessing to use our place as needed to allocate his 600+ colonies of honeybees every year. The bees love the milkweed just as much as the Monarch, but for a different reason. The article goes on to explain this in more detail was some fantastic pictures. I hope that all of you read his article – gardener or not.
HAPPY SPRING – HAPPY GARDENING!
You can also check me out at: https://lifelessonslived.com/ for all the fun things I have learned in life.