Tuesday, March 27, 2012
My Yard, Their Salad
I realized that I'm stuck. My yard has guests, and my yard has pests.
Earlier we had turned on the hot tub and sat out under the stars. Watching the airplanes scud overhead, between the gaps of their droning, we heard complaints. They aren't quite used to our using the yard for the intended purpose of relaxation, and they were there watching us. I heard the "niknikniknik" of the squirrels. At least I think it was a squirrel or three. It could have been an opossum or just as easily a raccoon. They tend to wash their food in my pool, a fact I'm not completely comfortable with.
The next day, wandering out to inspect my flowers and pick up after the evening under the stars, I looked closely at my prized plants. I have a number of imprisoned fruit trees. Some like being pot bound more than others and they are the ones that are thriving. Others mope along and really look like they're crying out to be stuck in the ground where they belong.
One day I'll just move that sad yellow hibiscus out to the front yard and be done with it. Really, I will, I'm telling you!
On the other hand my Mango tree seems to like being in that maroon pot. It's taller than I am, and even subtracting the height of the pot it may still be taller. But it's gotten hit by those annoying exotic whitefly. Frowning, I walked down the line to look at the other plants. Mango with Whitefly, sticky weeds in my Meyer Lemon, and the Mexican Milkweed had Monarchs.
I'm perfectly happy with Monarchs in my Milkweed, that is why I plant the things where I do. The plants hadn't recovered successfully from the last time the Monarchs were "in season" so I think that one or two of the little caterpillars may not reach chrysalis.
The Monarchs are why I don't spray my plants. I can't blame them for the weeds in my lemon trees. That's just being lazy, but I don't want to harm my little black and yellow friends. I get more entertainment than most out of watching them.
The Swallowtail butterflies that use my orange tree are a different story. Their bird poop looking caterpillars aren't my favorite especially since that orange isn't doing quite as well as I would like. Threaten the bird poop with removal and they start to stink. Fairly effective at scaring birds, and I don't care to handle them either.
I have a feeling I'm going to be paying a visit to the big box store for some insecticidal soap. For now, the lady bugs are taking care of the whitefly and keeping them to a dull roar on my Mango, but those Swallowtail caterpillars had better watch out. They're just not pretty!