Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ladybug Larvae- our little friends

Ladybugs like to eat aphids.  Every year our honeysuckle vines are covered in gray aphids and I get really agitated.  Around the time I'm ready to spray chemicals on the vines or rip them out, I start to notice ladybugs on them.  They are extremely outnumbered, so the vines look terrible and I trim them back and toss the clippings into the yard waste container.  The next day, the yard waste container is covered in lady bug larvae trying to get out.  Terry spent this weekend collecting the larvae and putting them back on the honeysuckle vines.  

The second Terry placed a larva on a leaf, the larva starting eating a gray aphid.

Eat well, little lady!

Our first homegrown Cauliflower!

I read that some people tie the leaves up to cover the head.  I now know why.  When exposed to the sun, the head turns yellowish.  It's also important to pick it when the head is still nice and solid.  After awhile the curds separate.

After harvesting the head it is good to soak it in a bowl of water to encourage the cabbage worms to crawl out of it before you store it in the refrigerator.
Be sure to ham it up for photos before you eat it.

Shortly after the photo was taken, we chopped it up, steamed it, and ate it.  Yum!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Yellowjackets- a cabbage's friend

By keeping your eyes and ears open in the garden, you will discover the most amazing things...

Terry noticed that Yellowjackets were crawling around our cabbages.  He assumed they were looking for pockets of water collected in the leaves.  Then he saw one eating a cabbage worm.  That clump of green at the head of the yellowjacket is the worm.  

The yellowjacket has a chunk of worm flesh in his mouth.  There is the worm's head left on the leaf.  He finished it off later.

In other cabbage worm news...  I cleaned a bunch of veggies in the tub the other day.  That night when I was brushing my teeth.  I spied a little green cabbage worm crawling away on the wall.  I was thinking... this doesn't happen to normal people.