Home & Garden

June 16, 2011

The gardener vs. the fire ant

In Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl,” the advice-giving mother instructs her daughter, among a litany of does and don’ts, “This is how you grow okra far from the house, because okra tree harbors red ants.” And indeed, okra in the garden often sports ants sipping honeydew as it is excreted from aphids that are sucking plant juices from the leaves and pods.

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