Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dill, My Insectary

I was so happy this morning as I looked at my dill. I have a green lacewing on it. I haven't had lacewings in my garden for a long time. They are wonderful garden helpers, eating aphids (at least their larvae does). I don't actually have a lot of aphids yet, but I will. They started coming out last week, but only in ones, not in clumps yet. If my lacewing starts laying eggs you will see me do a little happy dance in the garden. Their eggs are really unique. Well the egg itself is just a small white dot, but it is held off the leaf with a long thin white stalk. The larvae would eat each other if they aren't separated, so mom keeps them from touching by putting each egg on its own stalk. Yes they are all given time outs in their bedrooms so they won't be mean to their siblings.

The dill is a great collector of insects. It attracts a lot of beneficials, but it also attracts caterpillars, and not the bad kind. I often get swallowtail caterpillars on my dill and parsley. Right now there are about three little caterpillars that are mostly black with a little whitish ring around the middle (sadly my camera wouldn't focus on the tiny things). I'm hoping it is some really pretty butterfly. Most of the time I don't even see them until they are bigger and notice that half my plant is gone.

Another insect I love is flittering about the garden, a dragonfly. I love dragonflies and damselflies. They have such beautiful little iridescent wings and bodies. There are two of them this morning sitting on the fence in the early morning sunlight. It must be why I have no mosquitoes in my garden this morning.

I find it amusing that the two posts I write about today are about how vicious mother nature is being to me and how nice. She really can show both sides of her personality at once.


  1. What a unique bug! I thought all little critters in the garden were bad, but i'm glad they have some good uses!!! I may buy a dill plant now, just for the good insects

  2. I have damsel flies around the pond but haven't seen a lacewing yet.Hope they hurry up as we have blackfly on both the french beans and broad beans.