Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Organic Pest Control

Posted by: Paul Gardener
A posse ad esse (From possibility to reality)

Last year at this time, we made a special trip down to Salt Lake City (Utah) to go to a particular nursery, MillCreek Gardens. The reason that we went out of our way to go to that particular nursery, was to pick up, oh, eighteen hundred or so workers to help around the garden and yard.
There are approximately 1500 ladybugs in this package. It cost me $9.99 and I feel will be worth every penny. These little guys were released at dusk (as per instructions on the package.) around our 4 fruit trees, near the raspberries and strawberries, and some in the flower beds.There is some evidence that when large numbers of "imported" lady bugs are released that they don't all hang around. I will say however, that I had lots of lady bugs visiting me last year while I worked in the garden and had very little problem with aphids, a prime food source for these carnivorous little ladies.
I also picked up a cocoon of praying mantis that should carry in the neighborhood of three hundred manti. Between these two I should be able to make a pretty good dent in the aphid population around here. I've done this before in a previous home and loved the surprise of finding a mantis or lady bug every once and a while.My wife was the lucky lady that got to find this big fella crawling around our beans last year. They can kind of freak you out when you notice that the stick is moving, but it's nice to know that they're hard at work for me and are happy to be doing it!

Now granted, this kind of gardening is a little slower, and not 100% effective, but it will make a big difference. It makes a lot more sense to me and it helps to build a healthy ecosystem in our yard. If you've not tried this before I encourage you to take a look around to see if you can find them where you are. But even if you can't, you can really make a big difference by just letting the ecosystem in your garden develop naturally and keep an eye out for what's going on. Nature wants to work with us, it's up to us though to take her up on it

Grow on!