Saturday, July 22, 2006

Oooooohhhhhhhhh Again

I have no idea why I said Oooooohhhhhhhh last time. It came up when I started to type the title. I'm either unimaginative, or easily awed.

Today I'm awed by this (sorry for the blurry cell phone photo):

I think it's a Luna Moth caterpillar. I was gonna ask the more gardening-savvy of my readers if it was okay to leave on my tomato plant, but decided to look it up first. I hope, if I'm right, it stays to metamorphose and we get to see the new moth.

Of course, I'll be gone most of the rest of the two weeks, so it will probably be long well on its way by the time I come back.

In another gardening note, I have four o'clocks running rampant in my front "garden." The previous owners had a nice little patch of them next to the front door. I pulled out some bushes a couple of year ago, and have been spreading the four o-clock seeds across the front of the house. Every year, they decide to crowd the front stoop, and the more brutal I am with them, the bigger they get. Nothing seems to deter them, including the ravenous hordes of Japanese beetles making lace of their leaves.

Which was my other gardening question. I'm doing nothing to get rid of the beetles. The flowers are still blooming in the late afternoon, the plants growing tall and lush (if lacy). I was wondering if feeding the beetles such a nice buffet will keep them from my neighbors' roses, or if they will overpopulate and spread. I can just see the teenage beetles rebelling against the smothering of their fat parents and moving out to the American Beauties next door.

Yeah, THAT will endear me to people.


Colleen Gleason said...

I have been having quite the battle with Japanese beetles myself. They've been chowing through my grandmother's rose bush and my raspberries!

All last summer, and until a few days ago, I would go out several times a day and pick off the beetles and drop them into a pail of water, where they would stay until they drowned. I paid my kids a nickel for every beetle they pulled off the bushes (until it started to really add up--those suckers procreate worse than rabbits!).

Anyway, then a friend of ours took pity on me and my picking of the beetles and brought me over a Japanese Beetle trap.

Wow. I can't believe how well it worked--it's a little plastic thing that has the scent of some pheromones on it. The beetles fly to the plastic thing, try to land on it, and can't, then fall into a bag that hangs below.

In about three hours, the bag probably had three hundred beetles in it--no exaggeration.

Give it a try.

Natalie Damschroder said...

I'll do that, thanks!

Also, that darned caterpillar chomped through five of my green tomatoes today, so he's been relocated.