Saturday, February 9, 2013

Links of the Week

It's beautiful outside today which has gotten me in the mood for gardening!

I've found a few links that discuss how to attract beneficial insects.  I've been working on attacting and keeping beneficials around for quite a few years now with some definite "good bugs" sticking around.  Just a couple years ago I found a few tomato hornworms carefully hiding on my tomato plants (they are excellent at camouflage ... the best way to find tomato hornworms is to see their frass (aka little "poops") on the leaves or ground below the tomato plants.  But I didn't worry about killing those hornworms because I knew they would die soon anyway because braconid wasps had laid their little eggs in the hornworms and would soon devour and kill them.  Here's a picture I took:

Braconid Wasp Cocoons on Tomato Hornworm

I have also been "raising" praying mantids for many years which are not exactly the best "good bug" since they will also catch and eat other "good bugs," such as bees and butterflies.  But they are fascinating.  Here they are coming out of their egg case in spring - hundreds of them - and a picture of a full-grown praying mantis hiding in my morning glories:

Baby Praying Mantids


So to attract your own beneficials to your garden, check out this list of plants and their growing seasons: Growing Plants to Attract Beneficials

And the best flowers to grow in borders for attracting the good guys: Flowers for Borders

And how to attract a specific beneficial - hoverflies - which are excellent for eating those nasty little aphids: Attracting Hoverflies for Aphid Control

Time to start planning your garden to include all these wonderful flowers, ground covers and other plants to attract wonderful "good bugs" to your yard!

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