Archive for the ‘Garden pests’ Category

The trip home yesterday was quite the experience – 3 hours of downpouring heavy rain that nearly lifted us from the road and swept us away.  We are extremely happy to be alive and well and seeing all the flooded areas, it is quite clear we missed some heavy rains all weekend.  I believe the Chicagoland area broke records and it is said to be the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  I can only image the winds and rains they had and pray for their well being.  While down south I did make a unique discovery and I am not sure what it is!

 Polka dotted seedpod?  At first we thought it was a little rubber ball, but where would it have come from? So we cut it open to investigate further…

 Looks very alien to me.  I tried searching on the internet but came up with no clue.  I will have to watch for more and hope the home doesn’t get invaded while we are gone!

Something else which I found rather interesting was … a Tomato Hornworm eating our Alma Paprika Peppers which at this stage are very, very hot!  When they are yellow (the initial stage) they are raging spicy hot, then they turn orange and mellow out a bit.  Finally, when they are red they are sweet hot.

These guys are so big and nasty looking!


I did find some very cool mushrooms and snapped a few shots!


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I looked back and found the first photo of the Tigger Melon on the vine – it was taken July 27th

 Today is August 24th – almost a month later and the melon was harvested.  I could have/should have waited a few more days, but I was anxious!  The melon is rather small … only 3″ across both directions and for most of the month it was a green color.  The past week it slowly turned orange and then really orange today, so I had to have a taste!  It was fresh and crisp tasting and with a few more days I am sure sweeter – there is another one almost ready so we will wait longer on that one!


The Swan Gourd finally started producing fruit – it seems it took forever to get going, so not so sure we will have a full size gourd before the freezing weather hits.

 Swan Gourd

The Rio Roma Tomato ripened nicely and is very tasty!

 Rio Roma Tomato

We had the invasion of the squash bugs so I pulled most of the plants and started some fall plantings – spinach from the seed I saved earlier this year and some more peas!

 Squash bugs

This grasshopper sure looks healthy … I wonder what he is eating on ??

I decided to start a website for Gardening and Crafts .. I purchased the domain and I am sure there will be many hours of learning involved with setting this baby up, but I am ready to give it a shot!  TheCraftyGarden.com is the name and you are welcome to bookmark it, but there is really nothing there yet.  I need to focus and do some major brainstorming … any ideas??

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  My first Praying Mantis encounter and I thought he was Awesome!  I have only seen pictures in magazines and books and imaged them to be much smaller and when I saw this guy all I could think of was “Wow”!  This is one example of the differences between Northern Illinois and Southern.  Up North the Praying Mantis does not exist (if he does, I have never seen any) .. down at our place in Southern Illinois they do and being a gardener I am overly excited about this and I spent quite a long time watching this guy.  I was shocked when he actually turned his head to look right at me – he kept doing this, wondering what the heck I was and what I was doing. I expected him to fly off, but he never did.

    Check out the Spikes..Ouch!

 I came upon this Praying Mantis as I was pruning back the Guardian Marigold plant around the walkway. I was making a mental note not to plant these flowers so close to areas that I want open since they spread and seem to extend all over. Now on second thought I will be planting many of these around the exterior of my gardens down south – it appears the Praying Mantis calls this home. He does blend in rather well.

 I also found his shell that he shed and took a picture …

 and I measured him as well – almost 4 inches!  Told you I was mesmerized by this guy!  He will be very good for my Gardens down south!!!

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I knew he was out there lurking in the garden destroying my tomatoes, tomato plants and enjoying every minute.  I spotted the damage earlier in the week and each day I went out several times to find this monster!

  Damaged tomato

Today I finally captured the demon and he is gone!  They blend in so well with the tomato plant it is difficult to spot them.  You could be looking right at it and not even see it.

 See what I mean!

I am sure it will not be the only one this season .. be on the lookout!  Tomato hornworms are huge and can destroy a whole tomato plant in one evening!

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We had a good rain last night and it seems everything in the garden grew an inch!  The pearl cucumbers and the yellow scallop squash are coming in with no signs of stopping – I posted them at the Veggie Blog.  I also found and removed a sickly cucumber with some type of growth on it.  The growth appears to be eggs with larvae developing inside.  They were very tiny but the camera seemed to magnify the egg and contents. 


I did notice some other living creatures going about their daily business … Daddy Long Legs basking in the sun


  This Stink Bug will damage my squash vines and the Japanese Beetle is attracted to the Borage. 

I also spotted this unique looking spider on a rose bud …


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I can’t believe I actually caught this on camera, but I did and it sure tells the tale of activities in the garden!  I have posted about Companion Gardening and Good Bugs (Beneficials) in the garden and the bad bugs.  Not to long ago I showed the damage the Imported Cabbageworm did to my Sunset Kale plants … posted on July 8th .  The adult to these damaging bugs is the White Moth that flutters around in great abundance here.  So today I visit the garden with camera in hand and I spot a White Moth and it looked stuck!  Stuck enough where I could grab it and make history of it, BUT I stopped!  I looked closer and it was stuck in a cobweb made by a beneficial spider under a cucumber leaf.  Check this out …

  The white moth in my garden The spider is dining on another bug with the white moth in the background – sure is a cool looking spider … white and black!

 The cobweb is difficult to see in the photo, but the spider did a Great job for Deb’s Gardens and I thank him!  Also I found a rather large toad the other day in another part of the yard as I was pulling weeds and I moved him into the garden and he Stayed!  I bet he is eating tons of bugs so I thank the toad too!

  Toad in the garden

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We had a huge storm last night and it went on and on … I thought it would never end!  The gardens did need a good drink so that was Wonderful, but sure enough the Slugs are back!  Slugs have to be one of the most disgusting bugs of all time .. they just are.  I will be scattering crushed eggshells under most of the plants.  This is suppose to deter the slug since the eggshells have sharp edges and they just won’t go there.

  Slug … so gross!  Crushed eggshells to whoop his slimy self!   Ok…. so I photoshot the slug and decided to snap some shots of other bugs that were buzzing around – now keep in mind, this is only one day and maybe a total of an hour.  Can you image the pictures of bugs I would have if I camped out in the gardens for a day!

 Another bad bug .. the cucumber beetle, striped

  Daddy long legs .. he’s a good guy!

 I notice all the different colors and varieties of dragonflies … they are amazing and a Good Bug!

  A fly … this one is visiting the onion bloom, but I did notice a whole lot more this year especially on the buckwheat white flowers.  I would guess they are good guys in the garden.   The Hover Fly … next photo is definitely a good guy!

  Ladybugs are good in the garden and it appears they are having a Good time while there!

  Although very colorful, this redbanded leafhopper is bad news in the garden!

  Spider and next is the Wasp .. both good guys for your Garden!


Nature is amazing and beautiful !

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