Monday, July 28, 2014

A Dozen New Butterflies

...



Robb and I have now released twelve butterflies into the world.  We have a tankful of chrysalises, and no more caterpillars.  The fennel crop was a huge success in terms of butterfly-rearing, but a total failure for human consumption.  I don't know what's wrong with my garden. So much of what I try to grow turns out woody and stunted.  I can grow beans and kale and fruit trees with no problems, but I don't have luck with a many, many other plants.  I can't even tell you how many California wildflowers I've killed over the years.

Honestly though, if I never ate a single bite of homegrown fennel, that would be just fine with me.  Growing the fennel as a host-plant for butterflies, and having a small part of their growth is a magical experience, one that I wouldn't trade for anything.

If you want to read what the genuinely competent gardeners of the blogging world are up to, click here for the Daphne's weekly round-up.

For the record, I planted a dozen more roc d'or yellow bean plants, some white strawberries, and a self-fertile zucchini this weekend.  I really need to get the final scraping done on the garage, so that I can plant the flower bed in front of it. 

9 comments:

Margaret said...

I didn't realize there were self-fertile zucchini. I always seem to have issues with pollination on my squash so a self-fertile variety would be amazing. What variety is it?

Dave @ OurHappyAcres said...

I had to replant my fennel this year, as it died out over the winter. I'm hoping it will be host to some Swallowtails before long.

michelle hamer said...

I watched 7 caterpillars disappear from one of my fennel plants and I'm sure it wasn't because they waddled off to pupate. So when the caterpillars started to disappear prematurely from another fennel plant I "rescued" the last two and am hoping to get them to the butterfly stage. I would never even thought it possible to try to raise them if I hadn't read about your success at it. Wish me/them luck!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Put down a lot of paper towels under your fennel fronds. This caterpillars are champion poopers.

K said...

Have you had your soil tested? Urban gardens may host a variety of unwanted ground contaminant. Your local university extension office can do it. Hopefully it's an easy fix, like pH. Hohenzollern again, you may have already had it tested, in which case I share your frustration!

Haha, autocorrect. I had to leave that one in, too funny. How it got "Hohenzollern" from "then again" I don't know!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

We had our soil tested as soon as we moved in. We have good chemical content, good nutrients etc, but lousy soil texture. Our soil is like concrete, and doesn't allow water to absorb. I compost and am end like a demon, but change is slow.

K said...

Did you do any soil contamination testing? It sounds like you're on top of everything and have rebellious veg. Extension services have a master gardener and you can call & ask to speak with them. They may have you bring in samples or take pictures. I found something that may help, check this out: http://smsf-mastergardeners.ucanr.org.

Let me know if the link works or not. :). Good luck!

K said...

And that link I left above is a free service. Here's another link for the program they offer: http://ucanr.org/sites/MGsSMSF/Ask_a_Master_Gardener/

Hopefully they're nearby. If not, other universities offer similar services.

Daphne Gould said...

Beautiful butterfly. Here the dill are the swallowtails' favorite meal. Probably because there is so much of it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...