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Chickalo's Native Garden


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#1 Offline Chickalo - Posted May 21 2021 - 3:52 PM

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Hello Formiculture!

 

So my mom allowed to have a spot in the backyard to fill with native plants and stuff.  Here's the spot:

Attached File  plant.jpg   32.89KB   4 downloads

What I'm going to do is clear the area, dig up a hole, replace the hole with soil suitable for the plants and native ants.  Next I'm going to fill it up with the plants of my choice and take care of them I guess?  I will be posting updates, if I get the chance I'll start this weekend.

 

Until next time we meet,

Chickalo


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#2 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 21 2021 - 4:15 PM

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Before clearing, I’d make sure you don’t already have native plants in there. You can post photos here for me to ID. Don’t replace the soil. Native plants want native soil, even if it’s terrible. If your goal is to help insects, you want to avoid tilling up the soil. Just dump the plants in the native existing soil, and they’ll figure it out. They call all the natives weeds for a reason.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#3 Offline Chickalo - Posted May 21 2021 - 4:35 PM

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Before clearing, I’d make sure you don’t already have native plants in there. You can post photos here for me to ID. Don’t replace the soil. Native plants want native soil, even if it’s terrible. If your goal is to help insects, you want to avoid tilling up the soil. Just dump the plants in the native existing soil, and they’ll figure it out. They call all the natives weeds for a reason.

Alright thanks!  It's dark over here (both of us being on the eastern seaboard) so I'll get some photos tomorrow


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#4 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 21 2021 - 5:08 PM

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I look forward to seeing what you’ve got.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#5 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 2 2021 - 11:01 AM

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Got some pictures...
Heres an overview
0df358813d61c523b670c51a6077734e.jpg

Here are all the plants
3f086625f53205998f9bc6c984a007c8.jpg
ce60eca5ef79c03fac9a07586bc56884.jpg
0a653d4ef4944626b0e83b596983e275.jpg
0089501b34fdea26466e2f7c10393e97.jpg
28969ea7251a3178043ed6ff2cabd201.jpg


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#6 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 2 2021 - 11:16 AM

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In terms of ants, I found Brachymyrmex and Formica and a foraging Camponotus
0044bd72ccf7a85e0503948c888dd2c7.jpg
53f716186727a540dbb6561d7a1cf791.jpg
I also booped some salamander snoot
be2b20d641b273518f1fbbcf3784f586.jpg


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#7 Offline Antcatcherpro3 - Posted June 2 2021 - 11:18 AM

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You won't believe how many salamanders I have in my yard..


And in your second photo of the plants I have that same one in my yard.



#8 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 2 2021 - 4:28 PM

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Oh yeah, by the way, feel free to tell me to get better photos of any of the plants for identification


Edited by Chickalo, June 2 2021 - 4:28 PM.

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#9 Online ANTdrew - Posted June 2 2021 - 6:00 PM

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I can see hostas and peonies in there. Close ups of the leaves and any flowers would help.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#10 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted June 3 2021 - 5:34 AM

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Looks like the eastern red backed salamander I had.


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#11 Online ANTdrew - Posted June 3 2021 - 6:03 AM

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Those peonies are a great ant plant even though they're not native. How is the sun level in that section of the garden? What is the soil like? That will determine what you can plant.


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#12 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 3 2021 - 6:29 AM

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Looks like the eastern red backed salamander I had.

It is!  In other places around my backyard I also found the leadback variant.  Same species, different colour.

Those peonies are a great ant plant even though they're not native. How is the sun level in that section of the garden? What is the soil like? That will determine what you can plant.

My parents recently had the town cut down the huge tree that was blocking sun (it's now a stump, and you can sometimes find Camponotus pennsylvanicus foraging there!) so it's pretty bright.  I'll take soil samples today and get back to you in 1-2 days once it settles.


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#13 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 23 2021 - 5:40 PM

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Walking for the first time in over two weeks (it opened a bit again to back to crutches smh) I looked into the garden bit to find over grown plants, with things hidden inside.

Note:  I didn't have my phone at the time so no photos, sorry
First, there was a small rabbit hiding in the overgrown weeds.  They obviously ran away when they saw me coming.  There was also an abundance of wasps (no bees D: ) and one I suspected to be a queen, however wasn't quick enough to grab

 

Now the ANTS!
 

I found queens!  Well, not in the way you'd probably expect.  The wild Brachymyrmex depilis colony has alate pupae now, if there is flights I'll definitely try to start a huge colony of just lots of queens, even though I've heard they suck to keep.  I saw some formica workers running around under some rocks and managed to grab some pupae in case I find a parasitic queen.  If there's anything I noticed, it's that the Camponotus pennsylvanicus colony residing in my home rules the majority of the ground level, often seeing majors foraging there.  Then, about the rock wall level is the Formica, and finally at top is the Brachy. 

 

Other than ants I found many Dysdera crocata (woodlouse spiders), isopods, worms, centipedes, millipedes,  etc.  I found what I think was a psuedoscorpion, two.  Looked like tick with long arms and little pinchers.  I actually found a Myrmica queen there last year so maybe Myrmica might populate a portion of it eventually, who knows?

 

Until next time,
Chickalo


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