Saturday, June 18, 2011
Lacewings and Ladybugs
Oh, I wish I had taken my camera when I went up to the garden to plant more cuke seedlings yesterday.. Just as I had tucked the last seedling into the earth, a lacewing landed on my hand! So exciting.. in case you're not familiar, lacewings are beneficial buggies that grow about 1/2 to 3/4 inches long with large 'lacy' wings. They're very distinctive. I would have liked to run for my camera, but I knew that it was a moment I had to capture in my memory and not on a memory card. Next time! These lovely lacewings lay pale green, oval eggs that hatch into alligator-shaped brownish-greenish larvae that munch on aphids, whiteflies, insect eggs and other soft bodied bad bugs - so helpful!!
Other beneficials that you're sure to find around your garden include ladybugs. These are some photos I snapped last year on our sweet peas.. Our mint patch in the front yard is our 'ladybug nursery', where we always have dozens of adults and larvae crawling on the leaves. We then move them up to the garden if we notice any aphids. You can buy ladybugs, as well as lacewings, but remember that you only want to apply them if you have a major infestation. The ladybugs are well known for their immediate departure when first released. A bit frustrating when you've just spent $15 on a package!
On a less positive note, my slug problem continues. I just noticed that my beloved pole bean seedlings are looking a bit 'holey'. After a quick peek, dozens (and I mean dozens) of tiny slugs were hiding under the leaves! Argh! I hand picked them all and then applied a thick layer of diatomaceous earth around each seedling.
Hope your garden is slug-free!
Don't forget to tune into The Weekend Gardener tomorrow - we'll tackle a wide range of topics from deer to garden travels to using your garden produce and herbs to fun ideas with a local garden doula! 11 to 1 pm on News 95. 7 FM, 91.9 FM and 88.9 FM or listen live online from anywhere on www.news957.com.