White Dutch Clover is a wonderful cover crop that we use in our orchard. Apart from making the ground look green and beautiful it has its benefits. Ladybirds, which are also some of the most beautiful insects in nature also love to make these clover patches their homes. Various other insects also love these patches of white clover.
(Ladybird trying to avoid a fall from a clover leaf)
White Dutch Clover is a low height cover crop that is quite beneficial to the soil. It fixes the much required nitrogen and prevents many other weeds from taking over. With the help of this and many such methods, we are able to practice natural farming, free from chemicals.
(Clover leaves are found as a group of three leaves. If you can find a four-leaved clover, pluck it and keep it with yourself. It is supposed to be very lucky.)
The small white flowers of the clover also attract honey-bees which help in pollination of the fruit trees. The honey that they make from these flowers is also quite delicious.
(Honey-bee on a flower of white clover)
However, among all the insects that love these clover patches, ladybirds are the most attractive to look at. From children to elders, everyone seems to love these tiny wonders of nature. Ladybirds are quite harmless and not scared of humans. Hold them gently in your hands if you want to and they won’t fly away.
(Ladybird on White Dutch Clover trying to decide on which leaf to visit next?)
Spotting ladybirds is considered to be another lucky omen. Some cultures consider these as messengers of God. Make a wish if you spot a ladybird and hope for it to come true.
Ladybirds are also very useful for our orchard. These small wonders feed on still smaller insects like aphids which frequently harm the fruit trees. Natural insecticide solution that can’t come any prettier than these!
(The young ladybirds have very transparent and pale colored wing covers and their famous spots on dark colored wing-covers develop later in their life, sometimes even after a few days!)
Apart from the common spotted red ladybirds, these can also be found in various other colors. The colors and patterns are found on wing-covers that they have. Some of the ladybirds are orange, yellow and sometimes even transparent.
However, it is the bright red ones with their black spots which are common and loved by everyone. So, when you happen to visit us, do take a walk in the garden and orchard and try to find your own luck by spotting a ladybird or picking up a four-leaved clover.
(Ladybird on a white dutch clover leaf. Some call them ladybugs, others call them ladybirds, but interestingly these are not bugs and definitely not birds!)