WELCOME NATURE LOVERS!
If you're a gardener, chances are you had a number of flying,
hopping and crawling visitors to your garden!
We welcome beneficial pollinators like bees and many butterflies,
and are happy to find our soil wriggling with busy worms.
Dragonflies are also welcome visitors, dining on harmful and pesky insects.
Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies are among our favorite garden visitors!
From whence he came
We'll never know,
From whence he came
the seeds he sowed, brought us hope
as they'd root and grow
Casting corn seeds
to earth below,
in straight, long row
The jet black bird
with bag in tow
From whence he came
the lone kind crow,
then to and fro
WELCOME GROW FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR KIDS!
Should winter winds commence to blow, there'd be a bounty that soon we'd stow
From whence he came
and to where he goes,
we creatures here may never know
From whence he came
with hearts aglow,
we thank the stranger whom much we owe
From Whence He Came
poem and illustrations are the copyright of Grow For Your Neighbor
EASTERN BLACK SWALLOWTAIL CATERPILLAR
EATING FENNEL PLANT
ATTACHING TO BRANCH TO FORM A PUPA
HOW CAN YOU RAISE SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLIES?
PLANT PARSLEY, FENNEL, DILL OR RUE, AND ADULT BUTTERFLIES
WILL LAY THEIR EGGS ON THE LEAVES.
IN A FEW WEEKS LOOK FOR YOUNG CATERPILLARS ON PLANTS.
THE FIRST LARVAL INSTARS LOOK VERY DIFFERENT FROM LARGER CATERPILLARS:
BRANCHES WITH CATERPILLARS CAN BE CUT AND BROUGHT INDOORS,
TO OBSERVE THE BUTTERFLY LIFE CYCLE.
REMEMBER TO PLACE CUT END OF BRANCH IN A JAR OF WATER AND REPLACE WITH
FRESH PLANT CUTTINGS AS NEEDED... YOUR CATERPILLARS WILL BE HUNGRY!
WHEN YOUR CATERPILLAR IS DONE GROWING IT WILL FORM ITS PUPA.
BE SURE YOUR CATERPILLAR HAS A BRANCH TO HANG FROM AS IT SPINS ITS SILK GIRDLE.
ADULT BUTTERFLIES WILL HATCH IN 10 TO 14 DAYS
UNLESS YOU FIND YOUR CATERPILLAR IN FALL.
FALL CATERPILLARS FORM A PUPA AND REMAIN DORMANT THROUGH WINTER
UNTIL EMERGING IN SPRING.
FALL PUPAE SHOULD BE KEPT OUTDOORS THROUGH THE WINTER.
THE AMAZING MONARCH BUTTERFLY
ADULT EASTERN BLACK
If you've ever seen a monarch butterfly, you know what incredible,
mesmerizing beauties they are!
Monarchs are native to Virginia, and in fact range all the way from Canada to the southern US and Mexico.
Many monarch butterflies fly to Mexico's Central Transvolcanic Mountain Range to overwinter.
Can you image a delicate butterfly flying thousands of miles across mountains, lakes, rivers, and roads? AMAZING!!!!
Each fall thousands of monarch's migrate to Mexico where they roost on tree branches until early February,
when lengthening daylight hours and warmer temperatures cause the monarchs to begin their journey northward.
It takes several generations of monarchs to make their way to Virginia and further north.
UNFORTUNATELY, THERE ARE FEWER AND FEWER MONARCHS
This is in part because the monarch's have less food to eat.
Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plant, which caterpillars eat.
Milkweed grows in fields and meadows. and because of increases in farming and development,
there is much less milkweed growing.
Would you like to help the monarch's by growing milkweed?
There are a number of websites that offer free milkweed seeds.
For more information check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife website at:
and the Live Monarch Foundation at:
By planting milkweed, you'll provide needed food for monarch caterpillars,
and have the opportunity to raise monarch butterflies!
Milkweed plant is poisonous to birds and many animals.
Incredibly, it is NOT poisonous to monarchs but make the caterpillars and butterflies poisonous to predators. When a bird eats a monarch, it gets sick, and will not eat them again!
Never let pets eat milkweed.
caterpillars found in our GFYN garden
We plant milkweed in or near flower gardens so butterflies have flower nectar to eat in addition to milkweed to lay eggs
Milkweed spreads quickly through seeds and roots.
Be sure to plant where it won't be a nuisance.
milkweed growing near
milkweed growing in garden
with a variety of flowers
on fall Zinnia
on butterfly bush
with fennel plant
THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY LIFE CYCLE
OUR FEATURE CREATURE:
The Humming Bird Moth
This beautiful pollinator is a frequent visitor to GFYN butterfly bush
monarch egg on
young monarch caterpillar
large monarch caterpillar grazing on milkweed
Photos taken from eggs and caterpillars found in the garden last summer Plant Milkweed and Monarch's will come!
Like other Lepidoptera
(the group that includes moths, butterflies and skippers)
monarch butterflies undergo complete metamorphosis and have 4 life stages:
egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa, and adult or imago.
Metamorphosis is the process by which the monarch changes from one stage to the next.
To watch an amazing video of the monarch life cycle click the national geographic link:
For great lifecycle information and more visit:
two caterpillars sharing a leaf
WELCOME GROW FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR SQUASH GROWERS!
Thank you for caring for your newly planted tromboncino
or zucchini squash seeds
What to do first?
You've just brought home your planted squash seeds, and are wondering what will happen next?
Tromboncino and zucchini seeds take 6 to 12 days to germinate (or start to grow) when soil and air temperatures are between 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower the temperatures, the longer your seeds will take to germinate
If you're starting your plants indoors, the soil will probably be close to 70 degrees. To help seeds get started, some growers will set their potted seeds on a heating pad or on top the refrigerator. If soil isn't warm enough for germination, seeds may rot.
Be sure to keep soil slightly moist or damp,
checking with your finger.
over watering may also cause seeds to rot.
Once seeds have started growing, they'll send a green shoot poking through the soil.
At this point you should place your plant in a warm,
sunny spot, like near a window.
You've got your new squash sprouts in a sunny place,
watering when needed.
You'll be amazed how quickly your plant grows,
sending out new leaves and branches.
Because squash are warm weather plants, wait until soil and air temperatures are at least 70 degrees with warm nights and
no threat of frost, before transferring plants outdoors.
Eventually seedlings (small plants) will require more space and need to be transplanted into either a garden or large pot.
Many gardeners "harden off" young plants by placing them outdoors
a few hours a day for a week prior to transplanting,
allowing plants to slowly acclimate to the elements.
We recommend transplanting in a natural all purpose vegetable soil mix
Tromboncino is a vining variety, they'll need space to spread out.
Providing a trellis or support of some kind for your squash to climb is the best way to give plants needed space and protect them from damage.
Zucchini grows big and broad and will need several feet of growing space
Why Tromboncino Squash?
This Italian squash is a fast grower, high producer, and resistant to many plant diseases and pests.
Tromboncino is a vining plant and loves to climb as it grows, making it perfect for growing in small spaces, as it will grow up a trellis, fence, tomato cage, or even over the top of an arbor, with each plant producing up to 24 squash!
When picked young, squash are green and sweet like zucchini, developing a trombone like curve if grown trailing on the ground.
Provide a support for plants, and squash will grow straight, with a wide bottom.
When left on the vine to mature, tromboncino develop a thick skin which turns cream to golden and hardens,
giving them qualities of butternut winter squash.
This unique feature makes tromboncino especially valuable to the food bank, as it enables squash to stay fresh for a longer period of time.
Zucchini is a fast grower, with each plant producing a number of dark green squash in only 60 days.
It has a sweet flavor and is used in a variety of recipes and cultures.
Zucchini is delicious fried, baked, stir fried, stuffed, boiled, steamed and in breads and cakes. It lholds for several weeks in the refrigerator and is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A ,C and B Complex.
Plant your squash in the fertile soil of your garden or patio pot.
First slightly mound soil, then dig a small hole in the center of your mound,
set in plant and gently cover roots with soil.
It's important to check your plants daily, making sure soil is damp but well drained, and looking for harmful insects or disease damage.
Tromboncino is very hearty but may still attract nibbling bugs or acquire a disease like powdery mildew.
Below are links to advise on common squash pests and diseases.
If growing tromboncino squash up the side of a fence or trellis,
help train the new squash tendrils by gently wrapping new growth onto the plant support.
Your squash plant will take it from there!
HELPFUL TIPS FOR GROWING SQUASH
1. Ground water
It's best to water at the base of the plant, rather than over the top of foliage, as this is healthier for most veggie plants.
2. Water plants in the morning
This way water that gets on leaves has time to evaporate during the day, rather than sitting on leaves overnight
which makes them more vulnerable to fungal and other infections.
3. Water with air temperature H2O
Plants are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, and will be happier if watered with water that's been left to sit in a rain barrel or sprinkling can over night, so it adjusts to the temperature of the air.
Check out these websites to learn everything you want to know about tromboncino squash
Check out these websites to learn everything you want to know about growing zucchini
photo Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
We hope your plants produce plentifully and encourage you to share your bounty with the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank
Donate to GFYN 9AM to Noon Saturdays June through Septrmber at the Rt. 3/Gordon Rd. Spotsylvania Farmers Market,
and receive an I Grew For My Neighbor sticker!
Monday through Thursday at the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank at 3631 Lee Hill Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 2240
Make sure you tell them you grew for your neighbor!
Scroll down for Tromboncino and Zucchini Growing Instructions