I was in Bernal Heights, San Francisco the other day and stopped into a sweet little succulent shop on Cortland Avenue, called Succulence. Now I am not a huge fan of succulents even though they are the perfect drought tolerant plants. They just don’t float my boat and I’d rather plant something I can eat. However, I can’t avoid going in gardening stores. This store is really lovely with lots of modern trinkets for the garden and all the supplies for succulents you would ever need. If you are in the neighborhood, I would recommend checking out this shop then walk down the street to the Sandbox Bakery for a coffee and out-of-this-world pastries (white cheddar, mushroom and onion stuffed croissant… yes please!).
At Succulence, I bought this little Lady-Bird House made by Wild on Wildlife. This is a little house that the ladybugs can shelter. The directions state that ladybugs often hibernate in clusters and to put some leaves or corrugated carton rolls inside for them to nest. There is a small hole in the back so you can nail it to a fence but I think I am going to put it into my first garden bed where I have seen lots of ladybugs and larvae.
After my ladybug release several weeks ago, I have been thinking about the practice of buying ladybugs. Of course I want to naturally attract ladybugs to my garden and I felt a bit guilty for buying them. First of all I really don’t know anything about where these ladybugs come from or how sustainable the practice of harvesting tons of ladybugs for home garden use is. But I bought them so I want to encourage them to stay. Hopefully the little Lady-Bird House will help.
Since releasing the ladybugs, lots of adults have flown away but many have stayed due to my large number of juicy aphids. I have already seen ladybug eggs under my apple tree leaves. I have also noticed lots of larvae on my tomatillo plants. Currently, the tomatillo plant has lots of flowers blooming so I think the ladybugs like the pollen on this plant. Additionally there is an aphid ridden cucumber plant meandering among the tomatillo so there is lots of ladybug food.
I think that under the tomatillo plant will be the location of the new Lady-Bird House. I have noticed that ladybugs really like to sit on top of the Mulberry sticks I use for trellising some plants. I am not sure if they like the dew that collects on them in the morning but I think I will add a few of these sticks into their house along with some leaves and cardboard.