Celery and a Fig Beetle

| September 9, 2012 | 11 Replies

Celery and a Fig Beetle had my interest today. I  just planted celery seedlings in the parkway where my corn was. I read in “Golden Gate Gardening” that celery would like to be planted in pure compost, so I obliged with a whole bag of biodynamic compost between six seedlings. It also needs a lot of fertilizer, so I mixed up 4 cups worm castings, 2 cups organic vegetable fertilizer, and 1/2 cup citrus fertilizer (because celery likes slightly acidic soil as do citrus trees). I sunk each seedling in a pile of compost in the middle of the crater, spread the fertilizer around each, watered deeply, then covered in compost.

Celery needs to be kept moist all the time, so I figured I plant them right beside my neighbor’s sprinklers which overspray about two feet into my garden bed, so it will get an additional watering 3x/week! Just as I was scooping in some compost, a huge, green beetle (Fig Beetle AKA June Bug) flew right by my face and plopped on the mound of compost and started burrowing in the wet soil. I ran for my camera and it was buried when I got back in less than a minute. I uncovered it, and took a couple of shots as it was madly burrowing back in.

I didn’t know if this inch-long, bejeweled creature was friend or foe, so I captured it in a jar and ran to the internet. There are tons of great photos of emerald green beetles, but this one happens to be a Fig Beetle. They will dive bomb right at you, and suck juice out of figs. There are no fig trees around here, so I’m guessing, according to a post I read on Encino 411, that the beetle larvae metamorphosed in the compost and opening the bag set it free. Or, it probably was looking to lay eggs.

The parkway is coming together nicely. I planted milkweed and yarrow along the curb where the sunflowers were. I’ve still got two Japanese melon, one Japanese cucumber, and the Patty Pan squash, and now the celery.

There’s room for a couple more plants. Since this is my best sun, I’m going to pop in the two ‘Stupice’ heirloom tomato seedlings I bought yesterday. This variety, I was told, came from the Czech Republic, and has a short growing season, can take a milder climate, and that I could still get tomatoes this year. So, I’m giving it a shot.

Thanks for dropping by! Have a great Sunday! – Kaye

Update 2014 – Be sure and watch “Growing Heirloom Tomatoes Part 2to see more June Bugs (Fig Beetles)!!

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Category: Cool Season, Critters, Curbside Gardening, Vegetables

Comments (11)

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  1. lucindalines says:

    Yuck on the fig beetle!

  2. I was just photographing the beetle in the jar, and it escaped! It’s gone. – Kaye

  3. flamidwyfe says:

    Beetles should be free 🙂 He’s beautiful!

  4. I think your beetle is quite a beautiful gent but I don’t think I would like to have got close up and personal with him either

  5. oceannah says:

    That is a beautiful beetle! Hornworms are so not lookers though… I love that you are still so green out in Cali Kaye! Things are turning amber here.

  6. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi Kaye, Your Fig Beetle is gorgeous (not sure why I love iridescent bugs so much, but there you go; ) but you’re right, it does seem a bit of a coincidence that you’d see your monster back-crawling grub just a few weeks later – only time will tell, hey?

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