30 September 2012

Encouraging and Protecting butterflies moths and skippers in our garden


We plant natives, nectar flowers and larva food,
put out over ripe fruit and Gatorade,
create mud spots for adult males, leave weedy places and leaf litter in place, avoid pesticides and herbicides where possible.


Swallowtail with chewed wing
But, we cannot protect every butterfly from every predator. 
 
Butterfly egg on milkweed
We dig and overwinter tropical milkweed so it is in place as soon as the weather warms enough for Monarch migration in the spring
 
Swallowtail caterpillar on Rue

Each year we increase the number of Rue plants.
They are biennial so you'll lose some each year.
Seed starting is an annual event now.
Onion bag netting on Rue with caterpillar underneath

When caterpillars become visible, I top the plant with netting saved from bulb shipments, onion bags, etc.
Orb spider with Swallowtail caterpillar

Sadly we cannot prevent all predation.
Even spiders gotta eat.

 

Butterfly caterpillar on milkweed

The old garden adage that the
best tool in the garden is
the gardener's feet holds true
for protecting butterflies, moths and skippers, too.
Even if a daily check is not reasonable (it is not for my schedule),
going out regularly with protective measures in mind
can help protect our flying flowers.

Oh, and stop spraying stuff!



 

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