Gardening Update for July ~ Natural Predators

It’s hot y’all!  It’s got to the point that being outside past 10 a.m. is just not worth it.  I can feel a bead of sweat forming the moment I step outside because it’s so muggy.  Bleh!  This has left any gardening I may do to early in the morning or late in the evening, if you can fight the mosquitoes!  Our weather report includes a mosquito activity report, kind of like a pollen count for allergy sufferers.  That’s why I’m happy to see the natural predators in my yard & garden.  They help keep bugs off my plants & me!

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Happy Cloud Quilt Batting by Fat Quarter Shop

In the Wild

While out and about watering & tending my garden, I sometimes spot some natural predators at work.  I see many, many lizards during the day because they love the heat!  Here’s one eating what looks like a moth…

I also spotted one peaking out from between a stack of old windows.  He seemed to be having trouble finding a way out, but I think he was just trying to get away from me!

This lovely lady was enjoying a little snack.  As I snapped the picture, I heard a sound to the right & saw this guy headed her way.

He was in the mood for love & I think she just wanted to finish her snack!

Can you spot the hidden predators below?

I didn’t even see the spider on my lily until I looked back at the pictures.  Spiders are fine as long as they stay outside! Did you know dragonflies eat mosquitoes & gnats?  Anytime I’m outside working & gnats are bugging me, I hope for a dragon fly to show up.  They seem to disappear when one’s buzzing around!

Although bees aren’t predators, they are helpful in the garden.  My dog decided he needed to investigate what I was taking pictures of – since it wasn’t him!

Besides mosquitoes & gnats, we seem to have an issue with wasps.  All the land around me & they want to build a nest in my hose holder!

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Up next on my natural predators list are birds!  When I realize a nest was in my planter, watering became a challenge.  The momma bird did not like me being around!

Once the babies hatched, watering ceased all together.  I didn’t want to drown them!  I spent a day watching them learn to fly & posted a little video on Instagram.  My plants are looking pitiful now!  It will be time for mums before too much longer.  ; )

There’s one more predator that hangs out in my yard, but I definitely don’t have a picture of it.  It’s bats!  Although they don’t eat as many mosquitoes as some will say, they do eat a variety of bugs.  If you’d like to attract some to your yard, try adding a bat house!

Flowers and Veggies

Everything is getting too hot & weedy, so blooms are fading fast.  My lilies in the front flower bed finally bloomed & it was just as beautiful as the mother flower.  The lantana is taking over my little shrub!

My potted dianthus continues to bloom!  The crepe myrtle trees have bloomed & after a windy storm there are pink flowers all over the yard.  I managed to snap a picture of one of the last gardenia blooms.

There’s some trees that need trimming in the yard because they are touching the ground.  Although I think the crepe myrtle was just holding too much rain!

I’m still only getting cucumbers off of one of the many plants planted.  I guess that means no pickle making this year!

Peppers & tomatoes are still producing although I’m having some trouble with stink bugs!

My poor pepper!

Other Outdoors-y News

My husband has decided to start work on an outdoor brick grill/smoker.  This has involved the moving of lots of brick & crumbled blocks.

Hopefully we’ll have enough brick to make a little patio too!

My dad has a glorious grape vine that is about 2 weeks away from being ready to pick.

These are a variety of grape we call a muscadine.  They have a tough skin & I really don’t like to eat them, but they make fantastic jelly!

The grape pictures were taken by my dad, by the way & they look great!  Dad also gave me these two butterfly garden decorations.  There’s a solar light in each & I just need to find the perfect spot for them in the yard.  Thanks Dad!

Look for a post on making jelly coming soon!  I know I’ll make sure to wear enclosed shoes when I go to pick grapes.  I stepped in an ant bed with flip-flops on while admiring Dad’s grapes & my foot paid the price!

I hope y’all are having a wonderful Wednesday & watch out for ant beds!

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natural predators