I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends...
Hey, I take all the help I can get when it comes to gardening. Seeing my precious plants devoured right before my very eyes is quite a traumatic experience. Ever since I've started growing my plants organically, I've taken on a whole new outlook on what I will tolerate in the garden, yes even spiders.
Grasshoppers are a really big problem here. It truly gives you a new perspective of the plague of locusts described in the bible. They can eat nearly any and everything that's growing. I once thought that grasshoppers wouldn't eat tomato or squash plants, well I know now that they will. After they've taken out the rest of your crop, they'll go after them. It's just not their first choice. :)
My best spider friend has been the Black and Yellow Argiope, aka "Zipper Spider". It is named that because of the zipper pattern in makes on it's web. This spider has been such a huge help to me. I've seen them set up their webs throughout my garden plants and catch away. They are truly the fisherman of the air. They go where the food is plenty for them. I'm thankful for their help!
My latest spider friend is one that has just appeared here for us this year or at least that I've noticed. It's the Green Lynx Spider. I was a bit surprised when I first saw this one. It is camouflaged so well and doesn't build a web. It's a hunter rather than a fisherman. Quite a beautiful spider as far as spiders go. They are native to the southern US and Mexico. I think though, the reason I've just noticed them is that this year they have been eating plenty and are really large. I read they were only suppose to get to 5/8 inch, but this one's body is just that, maybe larger. Let me get the ruler...hmmm
One thing I've really noticed about growing organically is that you have to focus on balance in nature. If I want the good insects like honeybees, butterflies and such, then I need to allow other insects that help my garden too such as spiders. If I sprayed to kill some of the bad insects, then I also lose the good ones too. Being selective on what I do is the key. Yes, I am careful and wear gloves when I work with my plants because I am aware I have workers I may disturb, but I sure am thankful for the help. Here's to free labor!