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Lady Bugs!

Lady Bugs! by Beth Szillagyi
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Join Danny and his family as they learn how to garden and be good to the earth at the same time. From learning where the autumn leaves disappeared to that got tilled into the garden to visiting the local greenhouse, Danny has fun the way only he knows how!
SynergEbooks; March 2005
10 pages; ISBN 9780744309393
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Title: Lady Bugs!
Author: Beth Szillagyi; Steven Fisher
Oh, it was finally spring! Danny and Amber had been pining away for spring since right after Christmas. They were anxiously awaiting the sprouting of the tulips and daffodils they had helped their step mom, Ellen, plant in the fall. Some of the bushes in their yard had tiny green buds, so they knew it wouldn’t be long. The robins had come back, too, and Danny had seen some geese flying north the week before. He was all ready to get out his summer clothes. It would be swimming weather before you knew it. The children were also looking forward to helping in the garden. Their dad, Bill, had told them they could pick what kinds of vegetables they wanted to grow. Danny had decided to plant corn and green beans, and Amber wanted cucumbers and cantaloupe. “Let’s see,” Danny thought aloud, “it’s almost the end of April, so we can probably start planting stuff right away.” He thought back to the fall and the big pile of leaves they had all raked up. Then his dad let him and Amber run the lawn mower over them, cutting the leaves into tiny pieces. Then they raked all the leaf bits onto the garden and Ellen tilled them under with a roto-tiller, which was sort of like burying them. “How come you can still see some of the leaves?” Danny remembered asking his dad. “They’ll all be gone by spring,” Bill replied. “How?” Danny asked, wondering if they disappeared like the rabbit he saw a magician make disappear during an assembly at school. That was awesome. “They’ll rot,” his dad answered. “There’s stuff called bacteria in the garden soil, and they eat parts of the leaves until the pieces are so small you can’t see them.” “It’s very good for the garden,” Ellen chimed in. “The leaves have food in them that our vegetables can use.” Danny laughed, thinking of a family of carrots sitting down and eating dinner. “Putting them into the garden like this is better than burning them or trying to stuff them all into plastic bags,” their father continued. “If you burn them, you make air pollution, and if you stuff them all into plastic bags, then you still have a bunch of bags to get rid of.” “Yeah, but what if you don’t have a garden?” Amber wanted to know. “Well you could still mow them into little pieces and then spread them over your yard. By spring, they’d be all spending their time feeding the grass.”
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