Oh no! My garden has aphids, weeds, and fungus growth! What can I do to save my garden?! Well, the first line of defense is your fingers. See an unwanted insect? Pick it off. See an unwanted weed? pull it. Notice a leaf that looks sickly? Pinch it off. Make sure you throw any pulled plants or pinched off leaves into the garbage, not your compost. Also, make sure to wash your hands before handling other plants, so you do not transfer disease or insects from plant to plant. However, making life a little easier has been something we love helping you all with- so here we go!
Meet Your Allies
For now, let’s calm down and approach garden health one step at a time. Mites, aphids, caterpillars, and other problematic pest insects that are capable of ruining your entire garden if left unattended. We know we are asking you to think twice on pesticides and there are better and more natural solutions that make light work for you and will deal with your backyard intruders.
A well known ally is the ladybug; coccinellidae. Ladybugs are one of many leaf beetles which prefer to prey upon aphids, thrips, scale insects, and many other plant infesting pests. But not all ladybugs actually eat other insects and some are likely to eat fungi like mushrooms. So, knowing which ladybug species you are hosting can help. Click here to see more on the ladybug and their eating habits. Plants that can help encourage these insects are dill, yarrow, fennel, and dandelion. However if you have larger pests there is parasitic mini-wasps.
Ewe! A wasp?! More Bees what are you thinking, we thought you didn’t like wasps! While all animals have their place, the coolest thing about some of these wasps is they can live off of nectar and simply lay their eggs in their designated prey- whether that be spiders, ants, or caterpillars. They typically don’t harm bees and they aren’t harmful to people either. So whatever you want these wasps to help control just depends on the wasp you can either buy or invite. Check here for more information on what they prey on and what their feeding habits are.
Don’t like either of those/ Well, why not try the lacewing? What is a lacewing?
Well, they are a petite and rather pretty green insect that hang around porch lights and windows. However, the pest destroyer is their larvae. Occasionally called aphid lions they forage gardens in search for insects, larvae, and eggs to eat before they move onto their next life cycle. Here is some more on the green lacewing and their life cycle.
There are many more insects that can help improve your pest issue within your garden. And so long as you do your research you can find that these natural predators are much more effective than spraying plants down with chemicals. We hope you find this helpful in order to not only save your garden but to provide a safe environment for bees to forage to provide for their hives and continue their amazing service to our world. Remember that these are all still animals and providing safe and shallow water sources will help keep them and ensure their survival and continue aid. Tune in next week as we help you consider some safer ways to aid your garden and even protect it from fungal growth along with insects.
Also; to read the first part of this article series on what pesticides and fungicides can do to bees, please click the link below to check that out. Don’t forget to share this with all your friends on facebook and/or instagram and let’s all work to help protect the bees and live happy.