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.
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.
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
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.
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