Tag: insect control

Garden the Organic Way Book!

Garden the Organic Way Book!

The book “Garden the Organic Way” is now available in softcover and would make a perfect holiday gift or reading material during the offseason gardening months. The book serves as a comprehensive guide to organic gardening, covering all stages from being an absolute beginner to harvesting delicious fruits and vegetables. It also emphasizes soil restoration and sustainable practices. It can help plan upcoming gardens, increase crop production, and enhance overall garden productivity. It’s available on Etsy via the link provided on the website.

How To Grow Summer Squash

How To Grow Summer Squash

Growing summer squash requires warm temperatures, well-drained soil, and ample space. The four types of summer squash produce continuously from mid-summer to early fall. Harvest the fruit when young for best taste. Be vigilant against pests and diseases like squash vine borers and powdery mildew. Water at the base to prevent leaf-related issues and attract bees for pollination.

Fabric Row Covers: Keeping Bugs Out!

Fabric Row Covers: Keeping Bugs Out!

What are some benefits of fabric row covers

Lightweight row covers are great for keeping bugs out. The biggest advantage of fabric row covers is that they help with insect control. The most effective way is if you place the row cover immediately after you plant your crops, be it spring, summer of fall. Due to the extra warmth provided by the fabric row cover, vegetables will develop faster in spring also the plant leaves will be bigger. In the fall the row covers extend the growing season. It’s the best I have seen that controls insects without chemicals of any kind.

Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are extremely difficult to grow. Keeping out caterpillars from getting into the heads as they develop is a significant challenge. To read about broccoli click here.   https://www.gardeningtheorganicway.com/vegetables/growing-broccoli/

and to read more about cauliflower click here:  https://www.gardeningtheorganicway.com/vegetables/how-to-grow-cauliflower/

I use the lightest weight fabric row cover for the summer season. Keep an eye on the weather, if it gets warm fast then the cover needs to be removed.

Late placement of covers and pest management

If for some reason you do place the cover after the plants have been outside for a while, you need to continue to inspect for insect damage. Look for the larva or for caterpillars. Since the adults will not have access to the plants you will not have any new eggs. There will be plenty of old eggs hatching for several weeks to come. You will have to remove the covers or hand pollinate, were practical, for plants to get pollinated like the squashes.

See video for more information

Purchase ‘Garden the Organic Way’ and become an expert gardener. Garden the Organic Way is a comprehensive guide to organic gardening, designed for all skill levels. The book provides methods for growing delicious, pesticide-free vegetables using sustainable practices. Garden the Organic Way presents an engaging, practical guide with lots of tips on how to garden successfully. https://gardentheorganicway.etsy.com

You can purchase ‘Garden the Organic Way’ as an eBook http://Amazon- Garden the Organic Way

Lady Beetles (Mexican Bean Beetles or Colorado Potato Beetles)

Lady Beetles (Mexican Bean Beetles or Colorado Potato Beetles)

Lady beetles, with about 450 species in the US, are commonly known for their beneficial role in controlling aphids, scales, mites, and other pests. They vary in color and size, ranging from orange, yellow, pink, tan, and white, with black spots, to entirely black, brown, or grey. In contrast, the Mexican bean beetle, resembling ladybugs, is a pale-yellow to copper-brown pest with 16 black spots on its wing covers. It exclusively feeds on bean leaves and pods. The Colorado potato beetle, another look-alike, has ten alternating stripped bands of black and light yellow to tan on its wing covers and is a vegetarian that feeds on potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. The larvae of these insects also have distinct characteristics, with ladybug larvae being black with red, orange, or black stripes or markings, while Mexican bean beetle larvae are bright yellow with short spikes protruding throughout their body, and Colorado potato beetle larvae are salmon-pink with black spots along the side. The eggs of these insects are similar in shape and color, ranging from yellow to orange. Lady beetles lay eggs wherever there is food for the young larva to feed on, while Mexican bean beetles lay their eggs on the plant they are feeding on, and Colorado potato beetles lay their eggs in mass or small clusters on the underside of the leaves. Lady beetles are valuable allies in organic gardening and can be encouraged to stay by providing them with flowers that offer nectar and pollen. Conversely, Mexican bean beetles and Colorado potato beetles are pests that can be controlled through various methods such as handpicking and crop rotation.

Beneficial Insects and Their Habitat

Beneficial Insects and Their Habitat

It’s important to develop the right environment for the beneficial insects to establish proper habitats. Avoid using chemicals as bees and other beneficial insects are extremely sensitive to any type of chemical including the “natural” ones that are available to control grubs, etc. Black ground beetles and praying mantis are discussed in detail. From their appearance to their eating habits, predators, and their habitats.

Biocontrol Agent – A Wasp Attack

Biocontrol Agent – A Wasp Attack

The video shows a biocontrol control agent – a wasp attack on a grub . There are many ways we can control insects and grubs but, if the conditions are right, nature has a way to balancing everything out. These wasp are biocontrol agents. They are very tough and need to be left alone when encountered. As a garden ages the balance or predators looking for insects, grubs, or larva increases. Provided no chemicals of any type, are used. Natural predators give us a free service and it should be highly welcomed. Biological agents can be wasp, ants, praying mantis, birds or snakes. Just to name a few. Here is a blog of another beneficial, and unusual insect the wheel bug.

Blue-winged wasp

Biological control agent – a wasp attack by the blue-winged wasp.

The video link above shows the biocontrol agent – a wasp attack on a grub from the family Scarabaeidae, which has thousands of species of beetles, among them the Japanese beetle. A female blue-winged wasp from the family Scoliidae laying her eggs inside the  scarab beetle larvae that lives in the soil. The female wasp is “stinging” the grub and paralyzing it before laying the egg inside. Once the egg hatches, the larva of the wasp will feed on the scarab grub for about two weeks. After this occurs, the wasp larva will spin a cocoon inside the soil and live through the winter.

Appearance 

These blue-wing wasps are quite large and have different colors. Their bodies can be yellow, like the one in the video, but you can see them in white, red or a combination of these with black. The wings are large and cover the whole body. These, in particular, had a metallic blue shade. I was fascinated by their beauty.

The grubs from the scarab family are pale yellow or white and can go deep down into the soil. They are found as deep as 24” but usually around the 10” to 18” level. They are unusually large, ranging in size from 2” to 3” long and 1” thick. Read about other beneficial insects and their habitat.

As I arrived at the scene of the wasp attack, the blue-winged wasp had the grub at the surface of the garden bed and the fight was on. The wasp had retrieved the grub larva of the scarab from its tunnel in the soil. The wasp attack was well on its way, and was in control. I was sure glad it wasn’t any part of my body. Get my paperback copy: ‘Garden the Organic Way’ and become an expert gardener. Garden the Organic Way is a comprehensive guide to organic gardening, designed for all skill levels. The book provides methods for growing delicious, pesticide-free vegetables using sustainable practices. https://gardentheorganicway.etsy.com

Subscribe to the channel on YouTube http://@Gardeningtheorganicway to get the latest videos.

Controlling Pest in The Garden

Controlling Pest in The Garden

Pest in the garden and its infestations– All year long we have to be vigilant of what’s eating our gardens. If it’s not the squash bugs (as seen in the nymph stage along with its eggs on featured image), or cabbage worms early in the