Looking at that list you have a good reason now to have an untidier garden. Apart from planting attractive plants in the garden, you can also promote ladybug populations by the elimination of spraying insecticides. Not only are ladybugs sensitive to most synthetic insecticides, but if the majority of their food source is gone, they won't lay their eggs in your garden. As difficult as it may be, allowing aphids to live on certain plants is necessary to ensure that there is enough food for ladybugs. In addition, resist the urge to squish bugs & eggs in the garden, unless you're certain that they are not beneficial.
Another beneficial insect for your aphid problem is hoverflies. These you will find either in the ground as lava or in sheltered spots in your garden such as, nooks and crannies of old trees and will come out at the first sign of a warm day searching for aphid infested plants on which to lay their eggs. The lava of this insect has a voracious appetite for aphids.
I had the cheeky little beggars on my patio last week eating the new growth of my Alpine Strawberries but a quick blast of the hose dispersed them not to return. I think we all too quickly sometime run to grab a spray bottle answer when it would be better to be working with nature to strengthen our backyards biome. All things in balance works better. :)
It is not always easy to grow your own plants from seed, or even when you buy a punnet of seedlings.
Forgetting to water them can be tragic, and snails can happily munch through all your newly planted seedlings in one night.
Here are some suggestions for minimising losses.
Hubby has just bought me in the first of this season's asparagus so I thought I would share some hints and tips with you. ENJOY!!
There are reports of "wild" fields of asparagus (fields that were established then forgotten when people either died or moved away) that were producing in the 1950's and are still producing good quantities of spears today even though they have not been looked after since the 1960's Find out more about this perennial vegetable. Click here for .pdf file.
HOW TO HANDLE SLATERS.
• Make traps from hollowed out orange halves or seedling punnets filled with potato peelings, to distract slaters from seedlings, and germinating seeds.
• For seedlings, try plant collars (old pots with the bottom chopped out) for the first couple of weeks, or pot on seedlings to establish them before planting out. Once the stems become tougher, they're less attractive to slaters.
• Iron chelate based snail pellets are also effective against slaters and, as they break down, they release iron to feed the plants. They're safer than traditional snail pellets for use around pets, children, and wildlife but they should be stored and used with caution and common sense.
• In larger gardens, rotating chooks over veggie beds in between crops is a great way to clear up infestation and provide your birds with protein.
• A sprinkle of diatomaceous earth will get into their exoskeleton and destroy them also.
• And let us not forget chooks, ducks and quail wonderful insect control from these creatures not to mention what they give back to us, eggs and manure.
Last but not least this is not my recipe it comes from another website but it so makes sense I am including it.
Slug Snail and Slater Trap
• Grab an old sour cream container or anything that will hold some liquid. Dig a hole in the garden where you are planting your seedlings, put container in the hole, put two tablespoons of plain yoghurt/sour cream in
• Pour half a cup of water (hot water in cold weather) into the container
• Stir the yoghurt/sour cream until it is mixed.
• Leave for a week to do its job.
• If you have a pet you might want to put some chook or parrot wire over the top and tuck it down the sides, it's not poisonous but it stinks after a week and dogs tend to put there nose in it.
• After a week tips, the container out (it's about this time when you want to hold your breath, it stinks) and you will see sometimes hundreds of slaters.
• After you tip it out just cover with some soil, the worms will love it.