Saturday, May 26, 2012

Green Finger Tips - Under the Log

As a gardener, I am always amazed at how much there is to learn.

I was pulling up the grasses that were creeping under the barrier of stones and logs. I turned the log over and Wow!

Under the log I first saw this millipede and a little yellow snail next to it,

and a centidpede.

Then I saw a variety of slugs and a green worm.

To my absolute amazement, I came across these snake-like creatures. In all the years I have been gardening, I had never seen anything quite like these chaps. These amazing creatures are know as Shovel Headed Garden Worms

They are known botanically as Bipalium kewense and they eat earthworms and other insects, which explains the centipede corpses that were on the under surface of the log.

When you start to understand the relationships between insects in your companion planting organic garden, you will see how nature creates a balance between all creatures. Learning to use this balance in your organic garden and using companion planting to assist with natural pest control, you will bring great abundance to your kitchen.

Nature continuously suprises and astounds me and of course keeps me searching for more.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Green Finger Tips - Caterpillars

Caterpillar damage

Caterpillars can be a menace by devouring your plants. They are however the moths and butterflies of the future. So a little tolerance can be great for your organic garden. Mostly if you have a bad infestation of caterpillars, you can hand pick and squish them.

Natural predators of caterpillars

Caterpillars have natural predators that will keep them under control in the companion planted garden. Some wasps sedate caterpillars to use to feed their young. Katydids, stinkbugs and spiders feast on caterpillars. Birds, chameleons, rats and frogs enjoy caterpillars as a treat. Humans find certain species to be a delicacy. Be sure to encourage natural caterpillar predators in your organic garden.

Caterpillar stings

The variety and incredible patterns on caterpillars are a constant source of amazement. Some caterpillars can shoot poisonous stings which can be rather irritating to the skin. So people are affected more than others by these stings. Most varieties of caterpillars are harmless to humans.

Identifying Caterpillars

Can anyone help me identify the caterpillars that have been in my garden over the season. It would be great to know what butterflies they turn into. Butterflies are essential, like bees, for fertilising plants. Be grateful for your caterpillars and know that there are loads of ways to control them naturally.