Everyone who talks gardening with me knows that my pride is still stinging from the bitter defeat by my garden nemesis; the squash/stink bug. Last summer when I prepared to enjoy yellow squash from the community garden what I really should have been preparing for was war! Sadly my squash and then everything else ,when they were done sucking the life out of my squash plants, was completely annihilated. I did a lot of research and came up with a few techniques to fight back, which I will share in the spring. However, I came up with one sneaky way that I can defeat this pest with out even trying. My secret weapon; Toads.
My kiddos and I took advantage of this beautiful Fall weather to put up a welcome wagon for toads. We are calling it the Toad Abode. All you need is a couple of willing helpers, an old pot with a chip in it and a plant tray or saucer to use as a small pond. A smaller hole in the pot would have been better. Ideally it would be large enough for a toad but too small for a predator. But we needed to work with what we had, right? We had fun painting the pot complete with a tongue coming out of the hole in the pot and slipping around the side to snag a dragon fly,my sweet daughter’s idea. A semi shady corner of the garden was the perfect spot for our toad habitat. I let the kids sink in the plant saucer and position the rocks around it so it would be the perfect place for our squash bug eating friend to sit and have a soak. The last thing we added was a solar jar lantern to attract a meal for our helper. We found it to be a super fun garden gadget. The solar lid insert just screws into a regular Ball canning jar. It soaks up sun energy all day recharging the battery for a soft glow all night. I ordered mine from a family owned, Kentucky based business off of Amazon. You can order your solar lid here . We ordered a few extra for Christmas gifts. See how to make your own solar jar lantern here. You can hang them up for soft lighting or even carry them around when camping.
My sister was nice enough to let us catch a toad from her house and for a few nights before the cooler weather set in we saw him soaking. Our hope is that he digs in for Winter and wakes up HUNGRY in Spring!
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