Adventures in Gardening Part 26 ~ Enemies and Allies

I’m definitely no insect photographer (ew, I’d never want to be), but bear with my lack of skill here as I share a few of the photos I’ve taken of the bugs that I’ve found visiting my garden over the past couple of days…

I believe this guy here is a Candy Stripped Leafhopper.It’s very interesting looking and colorful; it even has a cute name, but I’m pretty sure it’s the thing responsible for some of the damage that I’ve been noticing on a few of my cucumber leaves.  So this is what became of him…Killed him with my bare hands.  I’m becoming quite the expert at smashing bugs.  Which is interesting since I’m completely terrified of them…

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This next bug was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.  It looked like a snail to me at first glance.  I had to use my flash setting to get a semi clear shot, so it looks like it was night time, but it wasn’t.  After spending a considerable amount of time scouring the Internet looking at more bug photos than I’d ever want to see, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a Two Striped Planthopper Nymph.  Apparently these things suck out plant juices and also feed on trees and shrubs, so figuring it’s not doing good to my cucumber leaf here, I gave it a quick flick with my finger and flicked its weird looking butt out of my garden, hoping it doesn’t find its way back.  Seriously, it does have a weird butt.  If you do a Google images search (for a photo with a better view than my amateur skills provide here) you’ll see it has fuzzy things coming out of its hind end.  Bugs are ishy, but the variety in nature is pretty darn cool.

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I had the hardest time trying to catch a shot of this bugger ~ it kept scurrying all over the place or flying away (reason for its blurriness), and I’m surprised I even got a photo of it at all. I looked in some of my books and on the Internet, and I think it might be a Striped Cucumber Beetle, but I don’t know for sure.  If it is… it’s not good.

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Here’s another bug I found hanging out on my cucumber leaves.  Why is everything going after my cukes?!  Must be a conspiracy.  I think this is another type of leafhopper. I might have to find out what I should do about them.  I mean other than smashing them by hand ~ that was unusually brave of me to kill Mr Candy Stripper that way.

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But not all the bugs I saw were enemies.  Some were allies…

I found this little sweetie crawling around on my cucumber leaves.  Definitely a welcome visitor!  Ladybugs are excellent at helping control aphids.  And as you saw in Adventures in Gardening Part 23 ~ Attack of the Ants and the Aphids, I definitely have aphids in my garden…~

Although this next bug is sort scary looking, I was happy to see one exploring one of my zucchini leaves.  Soldier Beetles are another great ally in the fight against aphids.  It is also a predator of Cucumber Beetles.  🙂    I did not take the above photo.  I didn’t happen to catch a shot of the particular one that I saw in my garden, but I wanted to show what they look like.

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It’s really good to know that I have a few buggy allies out there fighting the good fight with me!  Eat my garden’s enemies to your heart’s content guys, and bring your friends!  🙂

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And on the growing front…

Omygosh look at these cute tiny little beans growing!~

And my tomatoes are continuing to bloom away.  I only have 2 plants, but it would be so awesome if I got enough tomatoes to make a small batch of my yummy salsa. ~

Also, I thought my peas were pretty much done for the season, but now I see more blooms on those too.  Very happy about this!  🙂

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And I have a couple more strawberries just about ready to pick…~

My celery was getting totally crowded out by my zucchini’s giant solar panel leaves so I cut a few of them off.  Hope that doesn’t affect the production of my zucchinis, but I had to give my celery a fighting chance too.~

In other news…

I think one of the robin eggs fell out of the nest above my potting bench because I found these little broken shell pieces on my potting bench.  Sad.  😦~

I found some Johnny Jump ups springing up in an old empty abandoned pot.  They’re such cheerful little darlings and were really a fun surprise to find in the garden today.  ☼~

~Gardening is my therapy~

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16 responses to “Adventures in Gardening Part 26 ~ Enemies and Allies

  1. Johnny Jump ups, I have some of those growing near the house. I can’t wait to see them blooming this next year. 😉 I am glad to hear that you have some good allies on your side to help with your on going war with your enemies. So glad that things are working out for the better on the gardening front. 😀

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    • I adore Johnny Jump ups ~ glad you have some of the cheerful little things growing there too! 🙂 Thanks, I hope my bug allies invite all their friends to my garden and that they all come and destroy, I mean enjoy the aphid buffet. 😉 I’m a bit worried about that Striped Cucumber Beetle (if that’s what it is) because after reading about them, they can do some real damage. :/

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  2. BaaBee Loves Kitties

    Good morning~finally got rain here~ 😛
    Your pictures are absolutely beautiful~the buds are just spectacular.
    Sorry about the buggies~still hanging on to our one now 5″ by 2″ eggplant.
    How is it where you are Jewels?

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    • Good morning Patty 🙂 Glad you finally got some some rain there. We could use some too, it’s so unbelievably HOT! Glad your eggplant is doing well. 🙂

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      • BaaBee Loves Kitties

        It’s down to 83 now & it’s muggy but nice~it looks like an tropical island here~love it.

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      • Glad you’re loving it. I don’t like the humidity at all, I’d never survive in the tropics. 😉 My idea of perfect weather 65-75 degrees.

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  3. Awesome bug photos! I always thought that the mother Robin would carry away all the egg shell pieces to some location far from her nest to fool predators.

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  4. Hahaha!!! Julie, those first two pictures were hilarious 🙂 I was reading and thinking to myself “Aww…look at that little bug…” and then…SPLAT! Way to go on taking care of business! Those strawberries look delicious, btw. Your garden is really coming along nicely!

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  5. Love your terrific photos. I certainly have squished more than my fair share of yucky bugs this season. A gardener has to do what is necessary to have lovely vegetables. I think a squished bug is better than a chemically drowned bug.

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    • Thanks Karen! 🙂 I completely agree, it’s better to squish them buggers than to use chemicals. It’s just really hard for me to do because I’m so squeamish. I honestly amazed myself that I squished that one with my bare hands. But like you said “a gardener has to do what is necessary.” 😉

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  6. I laughed at the squashed bug too! That was unexpected. 🙂
    Great pictures and a great help to people like me! There seem to be so many bugs it’s hard to know what is what. And what ones deserve the squish! Love the baby bean. 🙂

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    • So glad it made you laugh! 🙂 Thanks, there really are so many different bugs, and it’s hard to know whether they are enemies or allies because sometimes the cute ones are bad guys and the scary looking ones are the good guys as far as a garden goes. That cute baby bean has actually grown significantly since yesterday. We had a thunderstorm roll through overnight and like I’ve said before… I think thunderstorms charge up the plants too, and my beans grew tons! Unfortunately, some of the winds did a bit of damage to my zucchini and it kind of fell over onto my other plants. 😦 It’s so big a awkward that I couldn’t really re-situate it so I was forced to cut even more of it’s “solar panels” to save the plants buried underneath. It looks pretty bad and I hope it pulls through or I’ll be devastated ~ my zucchini is my fave. I didn’t have much time to spend in the garden today so I couldn’t fuss with it a whole lot. Hopefully I can take a better look at it tomorrow and find that it’s all right. You can do all you can to grow a happy successful garden, but you can’t control the weather…

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  7. LOL!!! I was NOT expecting that second picture of the Candy Stripped Leafhopper! Your garden looks great! 🙂

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