5.12.09

Insects. Goodies verses baddies

Spotted in the garden this morning, oodles of honey bees, several types of hover fly, ladybirds and tiny wee praying mantis. On the baddies list not too many aphids but a growing population of green vegetable (stink) bugs.
I do not want to find any potato psyllids and am keeping a close eye out for signs of infestation. My Dad, who has a small market garden has warned me they are on the increase in these parts and are quite devastating to potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants etc. There doesn't seem to be too much info about controlling them in the home garden except to squash them and encourage ladybugs to the garden which may feed on them. To encourage ladybugs and other beneficial insects: let buckwheat, parsnip, parsley, yarrow, Valerian, chervil, mustard,phacelia, radish etc go to seed in the garden. Also don't get too stressed about the aphids on roses because the lady bugs will want to feed on these when they get to the garden. I have also noticed hoards of wax eyes going round the garden eating aphids this spring. The article I highlighted above mentions some insecticides will control physllids including organic ones, which I suspect would be pyrethrum. Another thing I saw at a shop which imports "Trade Aid" items the other day was a bar of "Neem" soap. I thought that might be quite useful as a soapy water spray against bugs. Has any one given that a try?
I like how the garden looks at this time of year. I'm mulching as much as I can to keep the grassy weeds down as the rain has given everything the energy to flourish, including the weeds. I love that my garden is getting a much better balance of Nature being in charge.
Bugs, flowers, sweet smells and sounds, seed heads, movement and BUZZ.

4 comments:

Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

ooh that last photo is exceptionally brilliant Gilly. I love it!

Theresa said...

Love the bees and ladybug!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Jeannette said...

As a new gardener and that we have just purchased our first home.I have enjoyed all your posts.We have a really large backyard and I have been saving up to start a square foot garden next spring.

You are a true inspiration.