Browse Month

March 2018

All the Good Bugs in Your Garden

A common reaction to seeing a bug in the garden is to either squish it or grab the insecticide and start spraying. However, many insects are beneficial rather than detrimental, so make sure to identify who dwells in your garden before you squish and spray.

Most gardeners have seen the effects of aphids. We often times cringe when we discover a plant with slightly stunted growth and turn over a leaf only to find an army of green or white teardrop shaped little bugs feasting away. Aphids love to eat our plants and there are several bugs out there that in turn, love to eat aphids.

Ladybugs

The well-known and very common ladybug is a blessing to have around your garden and can help control aphids, their preferred food. Ladybugs also have a taste for thrips, mealy bugs and mites. The most well-known type of ladybug is red with black spots, but there are also yellow, orange, gray, and black types (with or without spots.) There are various plants that attract ladybugs to your garden. These include angelica, tansy, and scented geraniums.

When releasing captive ladybugs, first make sure you water your growing area (the ladybugs will appreciate the moisture). Then gently lay handfuls of ladybugs around the area where you want them to feast. Release them only before the sun comes up or just after the sun goes down. Ladybugs tend to be very active in the middle of the day, so if released at this time, they tend to fly off rather than settle in where you want them to dwell.

Once the population establishes itself, the females will lay small orange-colored eggs on the underside of leaves. Over time, the eggs transform into larvae that look something like an alligator with a bug head. While these larvae are not as attractive as the adults, they still can consume 30 to 40 aphids a day.

Green Lacewings

Another aphid eater (and eater of many other small, soft-bodied pests) is the green lacewing. These bright green, delicate bugs are voracious eaters and can eat up to 30 to 40 aphids a day. Named for their large, transparent green wings, they are only 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in length. They typically live among weeds or leaves of trees and shrubs, and they have a very good reputation for staying in the area where they are released. Plants that produce high amounts of pollen and nectar, which the adults eat, attract lacewings.

The primary beneficial stage of the green lacewing is the larval stage. The larvae are flat and cone-shaped with sickle-shaped jaws, used to grasp their prey as they consume them. They are typically brown or yellow mottled with red or orange, and have short hairs or bristles projecting from their body. They remain in the larval stage before cocooning themselves in a globular white mass to pupate into adults. Green lacewing eggs are easy to recognize because they are not attached directly to the leaves, but look as though they are attached to the end of a tiny hair growing out of a leaf. This is to help keep the cannibalistic larva from eating each other as they hatch.

Praying Mantis

The true Godzilla of the garden is the Praying Mantis. This large (2-5 inch) predator camouflages itself by resembling a portion of leaf or stick. It moves remarkably fast, especially when it is striking at its prey with its powerful front legs. At rest, the mantis holds its front legs in front of it in something of a ”praying” position, the source of its name. While the mantis can fly, it usually remains in the area where it hatched.

Praying mantis will eat just about anything they come in contact with (including each other) usually depending on size. Juvenile mantis will eat aphids and thrips, and then move on to bigger things as they grow. It is not uncommon for a large mantis to attack a frog or lizard. Mantises are indiscriminate carnivores, so they will eat both good and bad bugs in the garden.

Bees

Beneficial insects do more than act as living insecticides. Some act as pollinators. Due to a recent shortage of honeybees caused by an infestation of parasitic mites, suitable substitutes are taking their place. Some of the best substitutes are the Orchard Mason bee and the Common Bumblebee.

Orchard Mason Bees are a small, black-blue type of fruit-pollinating bee. They build nests inside holes in trees, fences, and human-made ”bee blocks”. They lay 5 to 6 eggs inside their nests and then plug up the entrance holes with mud. Keep in mind that Mason Bees only travel in a radius of 100 yards from where they hatch, so they should be placed in the middle of the fruit orchard they are meant to pollinate. Due to their early emergence and short lifespan, Mason bees are usually only useful for pollinating fruit orchards.

The slow-moving, slightly humorous-looking bumblebees are one of the best pollinators in nature. Active during the majority of the growing season, they are used in commercial greenhouses to pollinate vegetable crops. Bumblebees grow to a size of 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches and are very furry, with a yellow and black striped color scheme. Attracting bumblebees is like attracting any other bee; just make sure you have flowers and plants that produce high amounts of pollen and nectar for them to feed on. Bumblebees especially like butterfly bushes and bee balm.

There are a multitude of other beneficial insects that attack not only specific pests, they also attack a wide range of other pests in your garden.

How a few inexperienced Garden for a Change?

Are you uninterested in being confined within your home? does one need to examine one thing alive and colorful? however concerning having your own inexperienced garden outside your house and revel in respiration recent air? Imagine however reposeful it’s to examine nice read simply outside your doors. simply try and image you in your garden, eating the comfort led to by colourful plants, strategically placed and planted here and there. you will even see your favorite roses flowering to your heart’s content.

Having a green garden has a lot to offer. It can also be a great experience for you. It is not only a feast to the eyes. It is also a great help to the environment. Living in the city minimizes the space where you might put your own garden. Aside from this, the time you consume looking after your plants is at stake. Living in the city is living a busy life. You must always find time to look after your garden if ever you have one at home. Having this at home gives you a place to relax while reliving memories or retreating from a stressful day at the office. Having a variation of colors in your garden makes it livelier and entertaining. Don’t worry about what kind of plants to add in your garden. Searching online or even reading books about gardening may help you with this problem. Some of the plants you may use for a green garden are dumb cane, bird’s nest fern, and euphorbia robbiae. Ferns, orchids and palms are also useful. Putting in some grass such as pampas grass or zebra grass gives your garden a boost. These are commonly easy to take care of. All you need to do is have time to look after them.

A green garden gives you fresh foods. You don’t have to waste time and money going to stores to buy food for dinner. All you have to do is go outside and pick something of your choice. You can grow anything you like in a garden so you may grow what your family likes, even organic foods. Worrying about what chemicals are used to these produce is not a question. You’ll know what is used to grow it.

Keeping a garden at home is actually a learning activity not only for you but also for your family. It requires patience, hard-work and love. It needs patience because you need to wait for your garden to grow. Plants don’t grow in just a single day. It takes weeks, even months for them to grow. It also requires hard-work because you have to spend time attending to your plants’ needs; giving it plenty of water and weeding them.

Compost creating For Organic farming

Composting room & garden waste to show it into chemical is AN ancient methodology of manufacturing organic fertiliser for farming. However, there area unit terribly trendy and straightforward ways of composting within the twenty first century. Over a amount of regarding twenty five years, I even have formed the simplest and handiest composting methodology thinkable. this sort of composting really makes a so much superior chemical and it all happens while not the rear breaking turning and shoveling.

In the past, this type of composting was known as Cold Composting, because it does not require that the temperature of the compost pile reach high temperatures. Cold composting takes an extra year of being in a pile, but you will not have to turn the pile or relocate it and the cooler temperature of the process allows for a higher nutrient & beneficial microbe content in the final product.

I know, it seems harsh to have to wait another year for your compost to be finished. However, if you think about it, once you get the system rolling, you will still be harvesting the same amount of compost every year; it will just be sitting in the composting bin longer. Every year, you will still have a nice supply of 100% natural organic fertilizer that comes with organic matter to condition your garden’s soil.

There is no big trick to this -it’s really just a matter of NOT doing all the hard work and leaving the pile for two years instead of one. There is a bit of a difference in how you make the pile, but these differences are easy as well.

Before starting each compost pile or bin, I set up a piece of 4 inch drainage pipe ( the flexible kind with holes all over it). The pipe stands up right in the middle of the container into which you will dump your kitchen scraps & garden waste like leaves & weeds & grass clippings. This pipe will help keep your pile supplied with air in the middle where it is usually non-existent. The other way in which cold composting is different from fast or hot composting is the ingredients you use. You must layer the pile with wet and dry ingredients alternating as you go. I use dry leaves from fall raking as my dry ingredient and kitchen waste & fresh green matter as my wet. A handful of dolomite lime in every wet layer will be helpful. Worms are another huge compost helper and you will have better results if you can scrounge up a cup of them from around your property and just add them to your bin or pile right at the start. By the time the compost is complete in about 2 years, there will be thousands of worms ready to go into your garden along with the compost.

That’s it! No shoveling, no turning, no work! Once your bin is full or your pile reaches about 3-4 feet high, cover it with a lid or tarp and leave it completely alone while you start a new bin or pile. Come back in about 18 – 24 months and you will find a smaller pile of high quality organic fertilizer. There’s nothing left to do but spread about 3 inches of your homemade black gold on the top of your soil and watch your organic garden grow.