We love our Royal Mountain Blue Plum Tree. Love love love. Sun warm sweetness, tiny, and gorgeous colors, they are awesome treats come Fall. And living in a zone 4 growing area, that’s saying something!
Over the years we have had little garden losses here and there, nothing major. Weather, clay like soil, and garden pests keep me on my gardeners toes! But it’s all part of the dirt game really. If you play in the dirt, and grow anything, you have to contend with it all. And that’s what makes it so great.
But I still, after all of the years, refuse to try and cohabitate with ants. Ants, my garden nemesis!
Aphids generally don’t bother me too much, they curl some leaves, drop some honeydew, but nothing life shattering, We have never had a plant die from aphids, and they are easy enough to manage. But it’s the ants that farm them, feed them, keep them barely alive, to suck the honeydew off of them that drive me crazy. It’s like a cannibalistic slavery Twilight Zone happening in my happy place, my garden. If it was helping my trees or plants in anyway I wouldn’t mind at all, but it makes things worse actually, which makes it not fun. The aphids are held prisoner to each leaf, the ants systematically feeding away, and then I have a garden problem that can go south quickly.
So, if we are lucky to have a spring/early summer like this year, cool and wet, that ants don’t become too active right away.
The aphids showed up in our plum tree about two weeks ago, right when our plums started to show some form. An ant here and there, but no mas slavery troupes just yet.
So while we had a cool light rain today, we released our secret weapons, the death squad, the beheaders, the ever so feared, Lady Bugs!
Lady bugs have been our garden friends since forever, we love them. But we have to get them out on the trees before the ants are active. Once the ants are farming the aphids, no luck, no chance of any aphid beheading by the Lady’s! Ants will terrorize and kill these red gems once their farming business is in full swing.
So we started our own garden war today, right in our plum tree. As I type, there is sure death going on out there. These lady bugs came from Wells Nevada, and I am thinking they were pretty thirsty and hungry, at least I hope so! I am crossing my fingers for fat, plump, satisfied lady bugs in the morning, and from here on out all summer! If they do a good job on the aphids, we won’t have ants in our plum tree, which will make for a happy tree, and a happy me this year, woop! The ants can move on, move on I say…!
6,000 Lady Bugs, millions of aphids, happy feeding. Here is to a healthy and natural garden, with healthy plants and killer Lady Bugs! And besides, there is something so awesome about releasing Lady Bugs withe your children, they can’t stop smiling.
WELCOME! Come eat in our plum tree!
Story wasn’t sure what was in those bags!
By Fall these plums will be the size of a small egg, chartreuse to light orange on the inside, and blueish on the outside!
Ocean was not impressed by this release. She wanted to get back to ‘pond business’. What’s the point of bugs, you can’t ‘dig them’. Dirt is better!
Check out the Lady Bug that flew right to the shade garden, on of the nicest places to hang on a hot day!