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This month in the garden...


"The best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant? If it comes out of the ground easily it's a valuable plant."



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This Month in the Garden (May 2010)...

Frogs basking by a Port Washington pond

If you have a pond you may already be seeing - and hearing - frogs in your garden.  With the unusually warm weather this summer many of the little amphibians have already been moving from pond to pond on rainy nights.

The most common frogs to visit local gardens are green frogs (Rana clamitans).  As the name implies, they are bright green to olive and have a prominent tympanum (covered ear) that appears as a spot behind the eye.  The frogs breed from April through August with late season tadpoles overwintering and changing into frogs the following year.  The song of the male green frog sounds like a single note plucked on a banjo string, repeated over and over on warm summer nights.

Less common leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) also appear in Port Washington garden ponds although their numbers are falling due to habitat loss, polluted water and other environmental changes. These frogs have three rows of black spots on their backs and are sometimes called field frogs because they move into grassy areas after the breeding season to forage for insects.  The call of the male leopard frog has been described as a guttural grunt like finger rubbing an inflated balloon.  The tadpoles of these frogs spend a year in the water as tadpoles before morphing into adults.

Gardeners who maintain ornamental ponds should limit the use of pesticides and like products in their gardens since amphibians are particularly sensitive to environmental hazards.  Frogs and their cousin, the American toad, will repay the favor by hunting among the flowers, consuming insects, slugs, and just about anything else they can swallow without harming the plants.

This Month in the Garden Archive:

November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
June 2010

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010

January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009

March 2009


Port Washington Garden Club, PO Box 492, Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
Registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization