Monday, May 02, 2011
What a beautiful start to the month of May, we have been enjoying sunshine and warm breezes from the east for the last couple of days. If you are out walking thru your neighborhood you will begin noticing almost every day there is a new flower blooming. Along with the blooms come the songbirds singing and hummingbirds humming as they also enjoy springtime. What else is that you see on your new tender growth? Aphids of course, they like the tenderest part of plants and seem to appear overnight. How to control or get rid of them?
First keep your plants fed and healthy, just like people the healthier a plant is the easier it is for it to fight insects and disease. Then if you get aphids you may simply spray them off with a strong spray from the garden hose or release ladybugs to do the trick.
When releasing ladybugs do it in the evening, water the garden first and release them at the base of your plants so they work their way up. They will rest for the evening and wake up to a buffet the next morning. If you release them in the middle of the day ladybugs will fly away to a cooler shady spot and won't eat away your aphids.
Want the ultimate predator insect in your garden? Now is the time to pick up egg cases which will hatch between 50 to 200 baby Praying Mantids. This carnivorous insect will keep the beetle, cricket and grasshopper population under control but be forewarned they also will eat butterflies if nothing else is around.
Are there sprays to use instead of beneficial insects? Yes you can use organic products such as Insecticidal Soap and Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew which contains Spinosad. Both are approved by the EPA for organic gardening.
Remember though not all bugs are bad bugs so know what you have before you spray.