Great article Geoff! I also have lots and lots of BW spiders in my garden. But over the past couple of years I've noticed they've been replaced more and more by brown widows. I couldn't believe it when I first saw a brown widow. I thought it was an immature blacky, but it's full grown size didn't make sense so I immediately Googled "brown, black widow" and found there really existed a brown widow spider. Wish I had a good closeup camera to provide a photo. Is there any possibility you could write a follow up/addendum on the brown widow?
We have two identical Rubbermaid storage boxes in the back yard. One contains firewood and the other contains plant foods and soil amendments. You have to to be careful when reaching around in the firewood box because there might be a widow in there. However, I have never seen one in the plant food box. The stuff is all organic, but there is something in there they don't like.
I have never seen a black widow in my garden. But I do know about the Brown Widows very well. Last spring, summer, they overtook our back porch area, and our storage building/garage. I have no idea where they came from, but I they were everywhere, what makes it so bad is that they had also over taken my laundry area which is an addition that is on outside in a closet on our back porch. I am not afraid of spiders, but these brown widows were just evil looking to me, and they are not as passive as the black widows, meaning they will attack you if you touch their webs (so I read on the internet) also their venom is more dangerous than the black widow (so I read on the internet). We used lots and lots of raid, in the laundry area/back porch area, plus we got rid of all webs, well all that we could find. But they are still in the storage building, as it is going to be a major task cleaning it out, since we have lots of items stored in there.
I think that adding Brown Widows to the article would be great too.