Thursday, April 26, 2012

Going Organic With Bug Killers

" Angel in the Peacock Garden"
Amy Sellers, 2007

I built a garden, brick by brick
a place to sit and pray
And as I planted each new bud
I'd closed my eyes to say

Dear angel in my garden
please listen to my prayer
and lift these words up to the Lord
for children everywhere

I built a garden, day-by-day
a place to find my way
And as I tended to each plant
I'd hear the angels say,

Dear mother in the garden
we've listened to your prayer
the Lord will help in His own way
have patience, don't despair

I pull the weeds and fertilize
the roses reach the sky
and as I pray I feel the angels
as they pass on by

Dear God in Heaven, thank you for
your guidance that you send
through angels in my garden
this holy place I tend. 


More of Aunt Ruth's beautiful garden in Southern California!

Pretty windy here in the High Desert. I sat lazily inside watching the trees shake, rattle and dance. A wee bit of rain, and not too cold. Looking forward to those sunny days the weatherman keeps promising for this weekend.

Hubby took Bindi's temp at 4 am the other morn and it was 100F! Amazing! This has been such a fun experience for us to watch the transformation of the compost. Thanks to Virginia for the idea for our topic today!
Going organic is a conscious decision, but an easy one for those of us who have pets or small children, where we are worried about harsh chemicals in our garden or what we eat. Plus, being organic is safe for the plants, people, pets AND the planet!

Bugs are the most effective way of organic pest killing. They are a natural solution to garden pest problems. Here's a list of who does what in the pest area:
CONTROL APHIDS: Ladybugs favorite food is aphids, but they also devour mites, thrips, scale, and other soft-bodied insects. 
Green Lacewing
 Green Lacewings are called 'aphid lyons' because they can consume 1,000 aphids a day! They also eat other soft-bodied insects such as mealy bugs, whitefly larvae, mites, etc.
 CONTROL MEALYBUGS: Cryptolaemus are little beetles that just love to eat mealy bugs, both juveniles and adults. Green Lacewings also eat mealy bugs.
CONTROL SNAILS: Decollate Snails attack and kill the common brown snail. They eat small eggs and juvenile snails, and will stay mostly out of sight.
Beneficial Nematodes
 CONTROL FUNGUS GNATS: Beneficial Nematodes will hunt down and kill fungus gnat larvae that live in the soil. It is applied by spraying with water.

CONTROL BEETLES (JAPANESE BEETLES, CUCUMBER BEETLES & WEEVILS): Beneficial Nematodes will seek out the larvae of those beetles, penetrate their body cavities, and kill them.

CONTROL GRUBS: Beneficial Nematodes attack over 230 kinds of soil dwelling pests including many species of white grubs. They enter the body of the grub and infect it with a bacteria that kills it. They are completely harmless to people, pets and plants.

CONTROL SPIDER MITES: Predatory Mites are adult mites that seek out and kill pest mites, particularly common spider mites and spotted mites.
 CONTROL CATERPILLARS (AND OTHER MOTH EGGS): Trichogramma are tiny parasites that lay their eggs inside caterpillar and moth eggs. The Trichogramma eggs hatch, feed on pest eggs which kill them, then emerge as adults to contain the cycle.

CONTROL TOMATO HORN WORMS: Once again, Trichogramma kills the hornworms by injecting their eggs into hornworm eggs. Trichogramma hatch and feed on hornworm eggs which breaks their life cycle.
 CONTROL WHITE FLY: Delphastus are voracious beetles that eat white fly eggs and larvae. They are applied as adults and begin working immediately.Encarsia Formosa are very tiny parasites that kill many varieties of white fly by laying their eggs into the white fly larvae (called scale). This may be used along with the Delphastus.
Green Lacewings larvae control the whitefly by piercing the body of the whitefly scale and withdrawing the fluids.

CONTROL FLEAS: Beneficial Nematodes can kill fleas that live outdoors by seeking out the flea larvae in the soil and killing them. They are applied by spraying with water into the ground.

CONTROL SCALE (RED SCALE, YELLOW SCALE, OLEANDER SCALE): Aphytis Melinus is an effective parasite that lays from 1 to 2 eggs into the scale. The eggs hatch and feed on the problem scale, killing it. Also, Green Lacewings will control scale.

GENERAL PREVENTION: Praying Mantids are all-purpose guardians of the garden because they eat anything that moves. Because they stay where they hatch, they can be used before pests arrive.

So, where do you get all these weird insects? Check your local garden shop and I bet you see a small refrigerator, where inside you can find the likes of these mentioned above. Or, contact ORCON online.



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