16 Bugs Gardeners Should Love

Predatory Wasp
Predatory Wasp – Lays eggs inside bad bug larvae (such as the moth larvae above in our sunflowers). The wasp’s young hatch inside and explode the pests  from the inside out!

My daughter shared this news article and slideshow with me, and I just had to share it with you!

Their presence is a gardener’s gift. Repay it by avoiding nonorganic pesticides, says W.M. Hood, professor of entomology at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Spring is afoot here in Southern California, and you’ll be seeing (hopefully) some of these ‘beauties’ in your yard & garden.

Beneficial insects are key to a healthy organic garden and you can do much to attract them and keep them in your yard.

By keeping your yard beneficial insect friendly, these good bugs will keep coming back year after year!

Read more: http://realestate.msn.com/16-bugs-gardeners-should-love

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16 Bugs Gardeners Should Love

Root Knot Nemesis

Root Knot Nematodes – My Nemesis:

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Some have asked about root knot nematodes. I just pulled these plants out of the garden that have this problem. They are microscopic creatures that infect the root system of plants. Once in the soil, they are very difficult to eradicate.

As you can see, these plants would have a hard time getting the nutrients they need. They began suffering from other diseases as well. Eventually, little or no fruit, and generally sad looking plants… First two photos show one tomato plant. You can see the small ripe tomato. This is supposed to be a beefsteak!

The third photo is borage – sorry it is out of focus. But I wanted to document that the nematodes do attack borage as well….

The fourth is another tomato plant.

Frustrating!

Root Knot Nemesis

Organic fruit fly solution

Check out this Organic, non-pesticide solution for fruit flies from our WordPress Blog…

Organic fruit fly solution

Organic, non-pesticide solution for fruit flies

Ahhhh summer – excess tomatoes and empty beer bottles….

So, does all that summer produce, citrus, and tomatoes got your kitchen overflowing with fruit flies? Have a few glass bottles laying around?

We call this the Redneck Fruit Fly Hotel. They check in, but they don’t, well… you know…

Here’s a pic:

Not just another Corona commercial
Not just another Corona commercial

What you will need:

  • A bottle with a skinny neck
  • Fruit Scraps
  • Paper
  • Wooden spoon
  • Scissors
  • Fruit Flies

Before you begin, you must rid your kitchen of all of your fruit. That means emptying your compost and/or garbage can as well… We did this after dinner, after we had cleaned up dishes and counters. We tossed all tomatoes with open sores into the compost and placed our fresh garden tomatoes in a room far away from the kitchen (you do NOT refrigerate fresh tomatoes). We put the apples in the refrigerator. The idea is, you want the ONLY attraction to fruit to be at the bottom of your bottle…

Cut the fruit into pieces that will fit into bottle without getting the mouth slimy. If you do slime it, wipe it off with water so that the flies do not congregate just at the lip – you want them to smell the rotting goodness at the bottom of the bottle. One slice of a tomato is enough.

Roll a piece of paper into a funnel shape. Slip the skinny end down the bottle so that it gets below the neck of the bottle. Stick the handle end of a wooden spoon down the bottle to get the paper to open up as well as seal the outside. Cut off excess paper at the top so that it is 1/2″ or so above the mouth of the bottle. Make sure it is all the way open at the top.

Leave the bottle on the counter where you have been having the problem.

We placed our bottles in the early evening, and by 2:00 p.m. the following day they were full, with maybe only 2 fruit flies in the kitchen who were smart enough not to check in…

What to do when your hotel is full? We’ll leave that to your imagination…

Anyway, this worked for US!

:)

My Garden Haven is the new home of Anya Shortridge’s Organic Gardening  blog

Previous URL was: http://sandiegogardening.blogspot.com/

Organic, non-pesticide solution for fruit flies

Fuzzy Caterpillars

These caterpillars are eating our garden! They are about 3 inches long now.

About 2 weeks ago, they were about 1 1/2 inches long, and someone suggested that they might be tent caterpillars.

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Fuzzy Caterpillars

Something is eating my basil

Something is eating my basil

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Something is eating my basil

Cladius difformis – a Sawfly whose larvae are commonly called Bristly Rose Slug

Something is eating my rose leaves

Turns out to be Cladius difformis – a Sawfly whose larvae are commonly called Bristly Rose Slug

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Cladius difformis – a Sawfly whose larvae are commonly called Bristly Rose Slug