Monday, May 30, 2016

GREEN LIZARDS - why I don't use pesticides

Have you seen these green lizards around? Although sometimes mistaken for the Gecko, they are actually the Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis). These lizards are in abundance here in my corner of Texas! But that wasn't always the case when we first bought our home....

I'm ashamed to say, before we went organic in the garden, we used to buy pesticides by the gallon. Not only did we spray the foundation of our home, but I also remember SMELLING the chemicals while my family swam and grilled in the backyard. This was right after my husband would generously spray the yard, deck and nearby trees with mosquito repellants.

This was more than 15 years ago, and thankfully during that time, we've educated ourselves.

Since our yard has healed and returned to a natural balance, we've seen an abundance in frogs, various lizards, ladybugs, honey bees, and dragonflies to name a few.
The Anole, are keeping my garden practically pest free. These carnivores will feast on anything that crawls or lands nearby - spiders, roaches, ants, flies, grasshoppers, and even wasps.

Do you have those large 3" to 4" sized outdoor roaches like we do? We joke around (when spotting an Anole eating one) that it's having a steak dinner! I hide my eyes while it's munching away, and fall in love even more with these lizards.

Anole spying on the wasps

These male Anoles are fighting over a bug in the garden. 

The Green Anole lives between 3 to 8 years, depending on whether they are in captivity, or surviving outdoors. Their natural predator consists of snake, birds, cats...

They change colors blending into their background - usually green or brown. In case you missed seeing it, there's two lizards pictured.

Ever noticed how their tails will break off easily? This is another safety measure when being attacked by a predator. After their tail breaks off, they regenerate a new one.

This Anole, lives in a crevice by my front window. After I water my potted strawberry plants, he shows up to drink from the flower. This is another reason why I'm glad I don't use harmful chemicals on my plants.

I know that in the past, we meant well (using chemicals) to eliminate harmful pests --ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, wasps... but I now have to keep in mind that EVERY creature serves a purpose. If anything, it's food supply for the Anole. Even though I'm not thrilled about those "steak dinners" crawling around.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Ever dreamed of growing your own fresh peaches in a pot? Now you can, on the porch!

This year we grew peaches right beside our patio table. Growing peach trees in a pot was easier than we thought. Other than watering every day to ensure the plant didn't dry, we kept the tree placed where it got plenty of sunshine at least 6 hours a day. To make the tree easier to move, I had placed my pot on rollers.

With the tree in close proximity, we could daily watch the fruit bloom and ripen.

Best of all, we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labor!

What was most surprising of all was HOW EASY it was to grow! Now we're planning a larger orchard on our porch! Some ideas: Lemon trees, Avocado, olives...

I found a helpful website on growing fruit trees here at Just Peachy!