Gardening by the Sea – September 2017

I have good news to report on monarch butterflies.  Previously, I told you that I had about 40 milkweed plants in my old vegetable garden.  Now I have more monarchs than ever before.  The moms lay up to 500 eggs in a week and then the mom dies.

The larvae munch on the milkweed leaves and grow rapidly, changing skins repeatedly over about 2 weeks.  Sadly but expectedly, they are food for birds.  In the fall, the adult monarchs will begin their migration south to the hills of central Mexico where they will cluster in fir trees to conserve energy and keep warm.

The hydrangeas continue their beautiful display of color.  During the next dry period, cut some of your hydrangeas to dry in the house.  Hang them upside down in an open area not near a window.  Remove the green leaves and tie the stems with rubber bands or twisties.  They will be a winter delight.

Don’t forget to keep watering.  Plants don’t do well if they are dry going into winter.

Stay well and cool.