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Ladybugs are voracious predators as both adults and larvae. A ladybug larvae can eat up to 400 aphids before it pupates (becomes an adult).

Ladybugs can be pink, yellow, orange, red, and all the varying shades in between. Their wing designs can be seven circular, 14 rectangular, or six oblong spots—to name a few.

They consume a broad diversity of prey, including aphids, scales, mites, mealybugs, small caterpillars, insect eggs and pupae, whiteflies, and mites.

Although they eat their worth and are beautiful in the garden or backyard, the best part is they do not sting or bite humans. Ladybugs are a win-win for your backyard.


Have you seen rainbows at your bird feeders? The male painted bunting (Passerina ciris) has a blue head, red chest, yellow to green shoulders, and a red back. The females and young males are a bright green. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “The French name of the Painted Bunting, nonpareil, means ‘without equal,’ a reference to the bird’s dazzling plumage.” 

Although their numbers are dropping due to capture and illegal sales (because they’re so purty), here in Central Texas, painted buntings are fairly common. During this time of year, they forage for seeds and visit our feeders. We are so blessed.


Consider digging and dividing any crowded spring bulbs. Once bulbs have matured and the foliage has turned brown, it is time to dig them up and thin out the bunch. Crowded bulbs produce fewer and smaller blooms; they usually need thinning every three to four years. Replant immediately in prepared beds. 

This is a great time and opportunity to go to Grandmother’s house and help her out. Bring home the bulbs that need to be thinned and have your own bulbs that you grew up knowing. This is a way to save some of the older varieties of bulbs with the whole family playing in the soil together and keeping a living family history alive. So be good to grandparents, good to yourself, and good to your children while passing along family history. Thin and transplant your family bulbs!


Side dressing: Mixing fertilizer into the soil along each row, around and beside growing plants. 

Top dressing: Placing fertilizer on top, without mixing into the soil.


  • Water for birds not only helps our fine feathered friends but keeps the bugs at bay (because the birds are there to eat the bugs). 
  • Jot down in your garden journal bloom times, arrival of birds, and expired blooms. 
  • Turn your compost. 

Till next time. Keep your souls and soles in your garden! Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1    

“In the Garden” is written by father-daughter gardening duo Bill and Martelle Luedecke. Questions or comments? Contact Martelle at 512-769-3179 or Contact Bill at 512-577-1463 or