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Friday, Jan. 20, 2017

Garden Ramblings

Posted Monday, December 22, 2008, at 8:00 AM

Had to break loose the bird feeders again this morning. The wet weather over the last week had excess moisture around the opening and this hard freeze locked them up. The birds could not wait and were coming down while I was working on the other feeders.

Most of their water is frozen as well, so we need to put some extra out. Our Blue jays were complaining about that at dawn. The stream at the pond had a little open water at the watercress, and falls but they need safer access.

I am wondering if my Chinese cabbage made it through the 8 degree night. I doubt it, but if it did not, I will try an experiment of cooking it all tonight to see if it can be salvaged.

Anyone else run out by the Ladybugs this season? We keep putting them out, and feeding them with sugar water, but hundreds die each week. I don't think I will win my case about capturing them and putting them in the refrigerator. Maybe I just need another refrig'?

Enough rambling. The work whistle has blown with a two minute warning.

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Well they certainly take over OUR home during the winter. Mostly upstairs and near the windows but we usually set free 8-10 each day when we find them in our bathroom.

I used to collect them with a hand-vac and then release them outside. I gave up on that. I think they like the ride and come back for more.

We leave little saucers of water for them and occasionally have to rescue one from a daring swim. The ones in the greenhouse do a little better, but we don't really have a bug problem in there so eating is slim. Of course, maybe they are the reason we don't have a big problem.

They have not been as strong for the past two years but maybe they choose different winter vacation spots, or maybe they expect a good bug crop this year.

Aphids were pretty numerous last spring and I tied to let them eat their fill, but I had to help them out with a little Tabasco, horticultural oil and soap spray.

I spray where they are not feeding and leave them alone. While I don't think they will eat it, spraying them directly could not be good for them.

I don't plan on breeding them, just trying to give them a save place to hibernate. By being in our house, they are not dormant and need to eat.

The Chinese cabbage does not look well after the single digit temperatures. No surprise but instead of trying to harvest, I decided to leave them alone and see if they will come back in Spring.

The peas definitely "bit the dust". I will replant in spring, but I have not been having the best sugar snap harvest over the last two years. I have not had to inoculate the seeds with rhizobia bacteria in the past, but maybe it is time this year.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Dec 26, 2008, at 9:51 AM

Great Article! I would love to know what species of Ladybugs you have a picture would ID them. I would not attempt to breed or keep Ladybugs unless you are willing to learn more about keeping Ladybugs, most certified breeder spend most all of there time taking care of them. Two year research reveals that Ladybugs do need a home, or a nesting box. http://ladybugneedahome.blogspot.com/200...

-- Posted by Laisseraller on Thu, Dec 25, 2008, at 11:06 AM

Merry Christmas everybody!!!

-- Posted by espoontoon on Tue, Dec 23, 2008, at 7:08 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.