Fall bulb planting surprises

Not sure if it is the long winter, or just me getting older but I have no clue what bulbs we planted last fall. Guess I will find out in a couple weeks.

Releasing ladybugs in your garden

When we started my garden at my our current house my daughters and I noticed we didn’t have any ladybugs roaming around the leaves. Now I would like to think that aphids and mites feared me so much to dare to step foot in my garden, but the reality is I live in a newer neighborhood with vegetation in its early stages and with the lush forest around me it is hard to compete.

If the ladybugs will not come to your garden your only choice is bring them there yourself. I did this by purchasing some ladybugs at our local home and garden store which ours starts carrying them a little after the local last frost date. Unfortunately, I took my daughters with me when I bought a bag of 1000 lady bugs for $5.00 so no every time we go to Home Depot they need to check to see if the ladybugs are there today, guess this will be a yearly tradition. If you can’t find them locally you can always purchase live ladybugs online.

Why would I want these bugs in my garden? Well other my girls get a lot of joy searching in our garden for them they are also an awesome beneficial insect which each one can eat up to 5000 aphids/mites in their lifetime. When you decide to release them be sure to follow the directions on the package and do so at night so they don’t all fly off to the neighbor’s yard. If you have kids you might want release a 100 or so during the daytime so you can make sure you get some cute pictures like the one below.

Shortly after posting this I was taking some pictures of some of my mystery bulbs coming up and noticed the lady bug below, guess my garden can actually attract a few of them on its own.

Growing potatoes with kids

I was checking out our pantry I noticed some of our potatoes were starting to sprout. I took this as a great opportunity to have a little activity with the my daughters. We started by taking a look at the sprouts and had a little discussion about how potatoes grow underground and this one potato will grow into many more potatoes. We then cut an egg carton in half and set the sprouting potatoes by the window to sprout (chitting) a little more and printed out some activity pages from the Washington State Potato Commission.

After a few days of basking in the sun we planted our potatoes in our garden and hopefully in a couple weeks we will see some plants coming out of the ground.