Despite my earlier protestations, and with much appreciated assistance, I not only planted what turned out to be an overfilled garden, I har...
June 4, 2011
Infestation? Nope Releasing Beneficials.
After investigating frothy masses that were showing up on the thyme and savory in our herb garden we found that we had red aphids and a bug I never remember seeing before called spittle bugs. Thanks to the genius of google (yes that was a shout out) I was able to not only find pictures but great descriptions and tips on dealing with these honery bugs. After spraying the plants with water last week as suggested I saw no improvement in the spittle population. So being proactivethis year is my resoluton so beneficials were the first thing to pop into mind. This meant a trip to our local nursery Mother Earth Gardens where they seem to always have what I need for the job (accept for nasturtium seeds today but they'll be more soon). With us and the rest of the country experiencing record heat or close to it I picked up some much needed straw bales to mulch in the now super sized strawberry plants and our garden walkway. Sitting on the counter was a bag of busy freshly hatched or molted lady beetles hungry and waiting for a new home. I obliged and after thouroughly watering the garden and waiting until dusk as suggested, the DH and I armed with beetle and sugar water in a spray bottle headed to the lady beetle open house in our veggie herb and fruit garden. How this worked is I grab or shake a handful out and the hubster would mist them lightly so they don't fly away too soon. Apparantly these lil guys and gals are territorial and will fight for position or fly away asap....which was immediately after opening the bag for some. Oh well, their loss. Anyway, this is where the spray comes in handy to temporarily stop them from flying so they have time to decide whether or not to put a down downpayment and move in permanantly. With the size of the spittle and aphids I am sure we'll have plenty of takers for our urban garden location. It's just a matter of time until the nasty anus foam from the icky spittles is gone for good and I don't have to worry about seasoning our steaks with herbs that were home to a bug hiding in it's own buggy butt juice. YUCK!! Sorry for the visual but it is indeed true. To find out more about the little scamps check out whatsthatbug.org or type their names in the magic "google" box. Happy Planting