Sunflower and the Ants

Well, I took your advice and cut off the dead bloom on my sunflower. We have had a week of rain and 2 days ago I noticed the sunflower was starting to wilt down, I thought it had drowned. Well, today was dry enough to get out and do a bit of work. I found Ants all over my bed and sunflower especially. In fact it seems they have a small bed at the base. So I guess my dream of my own sunflower seeds for next year has gone by the wayside. I also have a lot of aphids on my milkweed/butterfly weeds. My fingers are yellow from crushing them, but I am anti chemical, even if it means I lose them this year. On the plus, saw my first ever milkweed seed being released today. Next pod I will collect some for next year.
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Slit the stem and examine it's more likely to have been done in by a borer than by ants
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I just did that,and I am not sure. What would it look like on the inside if a borer got it? The inside is white pithy material, It didn't appear to have tunnels in it or anything. The outer part was slimy brown gunk. There are some small brown scars on the side of the stem. The wilted down leaves are just covered on the underside by ants just perched there. And there are some smalled winged insects there too, a bit larger than the aphids are. The wings peak up on their backs and make them look triangular from the side, brownish color.
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On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 19:25:32 -0500, "arkienurse"
Good for you!!!
Charlie
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"Charlie" wrote in message wrote:

I noticed all the posts about the bees. Every afternoon this week I have had 2 honeybees on my butterfly weeds when I get in from work. Don't want to harm them and I have small kids in my yard. I think most any weed is actually a flower, just maybe not as showy. And I also think the ants and aphids were created for a reason, so why kill them just because they are there??
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wrote:

I'm likin' you better all the time! :-)
And I agree with all you say. All the tiny critters have purpose, we just often think they are at cross purposes with ours. As my soil improves, I am finding plant health improves, and "garden pests" are leaving the healthier plants alone.
Except for the danged cabbage loopers. They still have me perplexed. Likely solution, for now, is to not plant any brassica.
Care Charlie
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