Garden Check List
- Compost- Check
- Early Spring plants in ground-Check
- Chicken fence up and maintained-Check
- April and May plants planned and plotted- Check
Aphids, White Flies Earwigs and Cutworms…….Not on the check list……
One of the beautiful benefits of having free ranged chickens is their appetite for bugs. However, chickens do not discriminate against good bugs and bad bugs. They tend to eat everything including Lady Bug larvae and Lacewings and Soldier Beetles.
I do not like using insecticides in my garden or around my yard for various reasons, including the “organic” kind. The top three reasons:
- My Children- they love to eat right out of the garden
- My Bees- Bees very sensitive to insecticides, even the organic versions
- I love Lady Bugs and Butterflies!!!!
Last year we planted with great success plants that are bee friendly. Our honey was outstanding from our efforts. So, this year my plan is to plant beneficial plants to attract beneficial insects. But, what is a good bug vs. a bad bug? I recently discovered the top ten beneficial insects a gardener wants in the garden. Now, as I understand it these insects are subject to region. What would be found in
Here are the Top Ten Beneficial Insects
- Braconid Wasps (Hymenoptera) – The larvae is the beneficial portion. The adult eats nectar and pollen.
- Diet: Caterpillars (including tomato hornworms), flies, beetle larvae, leaf miners, true bugs and aphids.
- Ground Beetles (Coleoptera)
- Diet: Asparagus beetles, caterpillars,
potato beetles, corn earworms, cutworms, slugs, squash vine borers and tobacco budworms. Colorado
- Hover or Syrphid Flies (Diptera)- The larvae is the beneficial portion. The adults eats nectar and pollen
- Diet: Larvaw eat mealybugs, small caterpillars, and early season aphids.
- Lacewings (Neuroptera)
- Diet: larvae prey on aphids, small caterpillars and caterpillar eggs, other larvae, mealybugs, white flies.
- Lady Bugs aka Lady Beetles (Coleoptera)
- Diet: Larvae and adutlts both dine on aphids, small caterpillars, small beetles, and insect eggs.
- Predatory Bugs (Hemiptera)
- Diet: Numphs or larvae and adults feed on aphids, catepillars, scale insects, spider mites and insect eggs.
- Soldier Beetles (Coleoptera)
- Diet: Larvae feed on the eggs and larvae of beetles, grasshoppers, moths and other insects. Adults feed on aphids, and other soft bodies insects.
- Spiders (Araneae)
- Diet: Depeneds on species, but can include aphids, beetles, cutworms, fire ants, lacebugs, spider mites, squash bugs, and tobacco budworms
- Tacinid Flies (Diptera)
- Diet: Larvae feed internally on caterpillars, beetles, bugs, earwigs, and grasshoppers.
- Trichogramma Mini Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Pesteggs, especially those of cabbage worms, codling moths, corm earworms, diamondback moths, and other moths and butterflies.
Top 19 Plants Beneficial Love
These annual and perennial plants draw an abundance of diverse beneficial insects in many regions. Choose early, mid and late season bloomers to insure beneficial insects stay in the garden. California Agriculture researchers have also found that a good hedge can also attract and maintain a healthy environment for beneficial insects.
Check the following list for your area:
- Sweet Alyssum- Spring through frost
- Hairy vetch- Spring to Summer
- Angelica- late spring
- Common Garden Sage- late Spring to early Summer
- Orange stone crop- late Spring to early Summer
- Thyme – late Spring to early Summer
- Catmint- late Spring to Midsummer
- Buckwheat- three weeks after planting; continues up to 10 weeks
- Dill –Summer
- Shasta Daisy- Summer
- Mints- Midsummer
- Coreopsis- Summer to Fall
- Cilantro- Summer to Fall
- Cosmos- Summer to Fall
- Oregano- Summer to Fall
- Yarrows- Summer to Fall
- Goldenrod- Late Summer to Fall
- Asters aka Bachelor's Buttons- Late Summer to Fall
The ones highlighted are the ones we currently have in our garden. What I have found interesting is how many of these plants are also associated with companion gardening. The rest I am planning to add to the garden in addition to the "Bee Garden."
For extra information check out these resources
Garden Insects of
Natural Enemies Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Biological
Mother Earth News at www.MotherEarthNews.com/Beneficial-Bugs