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Fruition Garden Journal

video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long

How to Harvest Milkweed Seeds

Oct 29, 2019
 

Imagine millions of monarchs migrating south, hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet above the trees, flashing black and bright copper as they make their way from the Northeast to Mexico.

Monarch butterflies have made an incredible comeback in the last five years, in no small part thanks to gardeners saving, spreading and sharing seeds widely across our continent. If you've been growing milkweed --- or at least not pulling it as weeds --- I love you and thank you! Never doubt that your actions, like seeds, are deceptively small :)

Though adult monarch butterflies feed on many other flowers, like our Queen Sophia marigolds, the monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed.

Harvesting milkweed seeds brings memories of my childhood, leaves crunching underfoot and thick wool sweaters with hundreds of burrs as polka dots. The leaves are crimson, gold and umber. Grapes are ripe on the vine, but barely. 

I remember reaching my hand carefully into each pod, each of us about to...

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The Truth About Praying Mantis (May Surprise You)

Jun 08, 2018
 

As a child and to this day, praying mantis delight me instantly when I find them in the garden. Their unlikely and adept bodies, their incredible adaptations & their uncanny camouflage are absolutely astonishing. I'll stop what I'm doing, every time, to watch them for minutes on end, spellbound by their captivating grace.

Can you find the praying mantis on the sage, beside Queen Sophia marigold, in front of Pancho?

When we rhapsodize poetic about beneficial insects, the charismatic praying mantis is often celebrated alongside ladybugs, bees and butterflies.

Friends, I love praying mantis.

And let's be clear.

Far from a pest insect, praying mantis (Mantis religiosa) is nonetheless at the bottom of the list of 'beneficial insects' in your garden.

Here are the three essential things to know about praying mantis:

1. Praying mantis are generalists.

When it comes time to eat, praying mantis are generalists. They'll voraciously...

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