Consider Your Garden Friends

With the beneficial rains we have experienced recently, veggies, herbs and flowers in your garden plot probably have grown strongly. You are not the only observer to have noticed. Insects that can do damage to your plantings are making an appearance, as well. For instance, aphids and other sucking insects can damage and destroy plants, particularly concentrating on tender shoots and new growth. Best strategies for getting rid of these insects include: blast with a spray of water; pinch off infested plant parts and remove entirely; spray all affected plant parts with soapy water; pick an occasional insect off with your fingers and crush it; or cover plants with row cover. But consider this: lots of insects are out to get aphids. Lady bugs and their larvae, parasitic wasps and lacewings can do your control work for you, feeding on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. In addition, parasitic wasps are the best control for tomato hornworm caterpillars. Encouraging these garden friends are the marigolds, Calendula, purple coneflower and many common flowering herbs in yours and other garden plots and the butterfly garden.

– Carol Hassell