Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Black Widow and Square Foot Gardening!

I am currently reading Mel Bartholemew's "All New Square Foot Gardening" book and it is just as good as his original Square Foot Gardening book from many years ago. Here is a picture of the two covers:

Notice that among other things, he has chaged the way he lays out his squares. In the old days he just layed down wide boards to walk on in between his garden squares. Now he builds raised bed squares and spaces them farther apart with grass growing in between them.

Well Mel, I can give testimony as to one reason that is a better idea. Last season, I layed down planks in between my different kinds of beans like that to walk on. This fall when we cleaned up the garden I turned over the plank and guess what I found living under there? I found ants, worms, slugs and THIS:

Isn't that a great Happy Valentines Day for you! I'm pretty sure that is a black widow spider! Of course I did not get to see its belly to check for the diamond pattern.

What do you think? If anyone reading this agrees that it is a Black Widow, please comment. If I'm wrong, then tell me what kind of spider it is. Here are a couple more pictures of it:

I have video of it as well, but I couldn't figure out how to get it embedded in this blog. (If anyone knows how to to that, I would appreciate some pointers)

So anyway, this season I will have to think twice about using boards to walk on since it provides great cover for such creepy spiders! I don't like Black Widows living in my garden!

On the plus side, it sure makes for a great addition to my close-up bug photo collection! :)



Marc, to post the video, I recommend getting an account on YouTube, and uploading the video there.

They will then give you some HTML code to post in your blog to display the video.


Thanks Alex! I am able to load video to the picture service I use but I couldn't figure out the HTML to embed it in my post. I'll have to try YouTube.


I don't know if it is a black widow spider, but at my house, it would be a dead spider. I don't like spiders! I know some of them are beneficial to have around to eat other bugs, but ugh, I just don't like them.


Ha ha ha! Love it Carol! Me too! It would be a dead one!


Marc, Mr. Bartholemew was about only 20 miles from us at a garden expo last weekend, and I couldn't go! It made me sick!


I stumbled across your blog while googling images for black widow spiders... that is indeed a black widow! A female, too.

I looked into your picture further because of the red markings on the dorsal abdomen - most black widows simply have the red hourglass on the ventral abdomen, as you're aware... but I'm finding lots of pictures of black widows with dorsal markings as well.

I've just returned home (to Tulsa OK) from a short jaunt about an hour west of me, where I found a lovely (male, I think) black widow with both red and white dorsal markings, as well as the bright-red hourglass.

:) Thanks for putting up your picture! I'm glad you didn't kill the beast... just be sure to wear gloves when turning up stones and boards! :)

(If you've a chance - what kind of camera did you use?? I'm looking for a good camera to take pictures of such small creatures... can you email me?)


Just thought you might find this interesting.

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