Cicadas are nasty little critters. I guess it would not be so bad if they were not everywhere! I had already not been looking forward to protecting my newly planted Asian pear tree from the Japanese beetles which should be here around July or August. Now I have found that I have to deal with the Cicadas this year as well. To me, Japanese beetles are horrific, but now I’m starting to wonder if the Cicadas aren’t even worse. The Japanese beetles will strip the tree of all green foliage which is pretty bad but Cicadas will actually cause damage to both the roots of your tree as well as the smaller branches. Cicadas spend about 13 years underground where they will eat the roots of your trees much like the larva of the Japanese beetles eat the roots of your grass, so it is understandable why they are so aggressive when they finally climb out of the ground. They have just a few weeks to find a mate and if female, to lay their eggs. The eggs are planted inside the bark of tree trunks and their branches. This can cause newly planted trees to require pruning or even worse, could cause the tree to die. The larva wiggle out of the tree after causing damage to the branches and then drop to the ground where they burrow and stay for 13 years feasting on the tree roots. Yuck! A few days ago I went outside and noticed I had cicadas all over my tree! I was mortified! The thought of losing my tree after all the work I have put into it did not sit well with me. I decided to purchase some cheese cloth so that I could cover up the tree and protect her. I have even found Cicadas on my rosemary bush! Despite the Cicadas, my Asian pear tree is doing pretty well.
My first attempt at growing an herb container garden last year did well and it was a great learning experience. Most of the established plants were started from seedlings inside the house. I wanted to see if I could grow them from seed inside before spring and then move them outside. I lost a few plants but most of them made it outside. I planted a few herbs, like the dill and basil, late because we don’t have much use for them. However, we decided to go ahead and try some for the fun of it. I have to say that it was a lot more work than I had anticipated and I think going forward, I will just repurchase what does not survive the winter instead of trying to grow them from seed. I have found that it does not really save any money and the amount of work involved actually makes growing them from seed counterproductive. My chives were the one plant that actually did come back this year on its own, which was surprising because the pot had been left out all winter. The marigold plant was from Connor’s 1st grade class so I’m excited the plant is doing so well. Here is a link to my Plant photo album which contains some new pictures.