Your Spook-Tacular Garden
BOO! Did I scare you? I probably did not, but there are some spooky things that are hopefully lingering in and around your garden, that are scary but also very beneficial.
One such ghastly creature is the spider. Spiders eat flies, mosquitoes, moths, beetles and other insects which harm your garden. Most spiders are somewhat venomous, so it is not a good idea to handle them.
The black widow and the brown recluse are spiders native to South Carolina that are very venomous. The black widow is usually found in and around buckets, spigots and dead tree hollows. They are shiny black with a red hour glass shape spot on their bellies.
The brown recluse are brown with a violin shape on their backs. Many other spiders look very similar. Since spiders are very hard to identify, don't mess with this scary creature. Appreciate them from a far.
Halloween wouldn't be as scary without bats. Bats are great for the garden because, like the spiders, they eat insects. There are several different kind of bats in South Carolina but the brown bat is the most common.
Lure bats to the garden by putting up a bat house. Hang them high on a tree or a telephone pole. It is very important NOT to handle a bat, and make sure you tell your children to never pick up an injured bat. While most bats are harmless, some can carry diseases transmittable to humans. So watch their night time acrobatics, but don't touch.
Most likely the scariest animal in your garden is the snake. Snakes can send you running in fear from your garden, but wait before you decide to do away with them. Small snakes eat bugs, while bigger snakes eat baby rabbits and mice that can chew on your garden plants.
There are quite a few poisonous snakes around, so hands off. To stay safe, make a lot of noise, by clapping or singing, when entering your garden, to make them aware of your presence. My singing chases more than snakes out of the garden, but that's another story. Remember, snakes are more scared of you then you are of them.
No garden is complete without bones- bone meal that is. Bone meal is 10% phosphate, so it is
a good somewhat organic way to add phosphate into your garden. Bone meal also has some calcium in it too. Many older farmers, like my Granddad, would throw in a handful of bone meal in each hole as he planted his tomatoes.
And lastly, let's not forget the blood. Blood meal can supplement any fall garden. This is because is a natural, somewhat organic and non-burning source of nitrogen. Nitrogen is good for your lettuce, collards, cabbage, broccoli and jus