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Attracting beneficials

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Attracting beneficials

Post  Chopper on 6/8/2010, 1:35 pm

For those of us who are not already carpet bombing our squares for fungus and foes I found some very interesting info about attracting beneficial insects to the garden at http://www.ghorganics.com/Beneficialinsect.html

I am always afraid to kill anything fly-like b/c they are too hard to tell apart so I assume they are good guys. For flies, I think that is usually true. For beetles, not so much. And larvae-like worms never as far as I am concerned. At this point snails still seem to be my worst destroyer, but I have already seen 2 of the yellow with black spotted cucumber beetles so I am expecting some further damage. I am OK with some - sharing is fine - but hate the frustration of having a whole (albeit small) crop wiped out.

"
Here are recipes you can make at
home to attract the good guys to your garden. This mix is enjoyed by adult lacewings,
ladybugs, parasitic wasps and others.


  • Good
    Bug Chow

    Mix all the
    following ingredients together in a glass or plastic container:
    2/3 cup of warm water
    4 tablespoons of brewer's yeast
    2 teaspoons of honey
    1/2 cup of sugar
    To use: Take 2
    tablespoons of the mix and dilute it in 1 quart of lukewarm water. Use this solution to
    spray on plants in the spring and early part of summer. Remember don't spray plants when
    temperatures are over 80F. Store the mixture in a sealed container in the refrigerator so
    it won't go rancid. It will keep for 7-10 days. The sugar in it is actually good for your
    plants.

  • Sugar-Water Spray
    Mix together very thoroughly these ingredients:
    32 ounces of warm water
    5 ounces of white sugar

    Apply as needed to your plants when aphids and other soft bodied are a
    nuisance.
    Research done at Utah State University indicates that spraying this
    sugar-water solution in the center of an alfalfa field increased the
    ladybug population in one to two days by 200% to 1300%."


Chopper

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Location : Warner Springs, CA USDA Zone 8a, Sunset Zone 7 (I think)

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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  junequilt on 6/8/2010, 4:36 pm

This is great info! I'll have to remember the recipes for next year, since the temps are already way higher than 80 down here in SC.

I have an herbaceous perennial (I forget its name) that has always been an aphid magnet. However, it's located in the same garden bed where I planted Brussels sprouts last fall. The Brussels sprouts never did much, but they did overwinter and I left them in the ground as they went to seed, and guess what? The perennials have not a single aphid, while the Brussels sprouts are covered. It seems the aphids prefer cole crops!
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junequilt

Posts : 319
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Location : Columbia, SC (Zone 8)

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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  Chopper on 6/8/2010, 4:41 pm

Brussel sprouts were the only edible plant I ever had an aphid problem with.

Chopper

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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  Megan on 6/8/2010, 6:29 pm

Very interesting! But... wouldn't all the sugar draw ants, which like to farm aphids?? thinking Not doubting you, just trying to understand.
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Megan

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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  Chopper on 6/8/2010, 6:40 pm

Good question about the sugar. My worry is that it would encourage bacteria or fungus. perhaps in the middle of a large alfalfa field it didn't matter. Maybe put it near, but not in the garden. Once they come, then they look around?

Chopper

Female Posts : 2467
Join date : 2010-05-05
Age : 62
Location : Warner Springs, CA USDA Zone 8a, Sunset Zone 7 (I think)

View user profile http://thezimmermannfamilytoo.blogspot.com

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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  Dietryin on 6/8/2010, 8:21 pm

What if we put the mixture in some cups in the garden?

Dietryin

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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  Megan on 6/8/2010, 8:32 pm

Well, that is exactly what I am doing with my ant bait... except I am trying to kill them.
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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  martha on 6/8/2010, 8:38 pm

I'll pick some plants, or maybe one square, to spray this directly on the plants and let you know what happens. The university of Utah did do the research, so my personal guess is it will be okay, but we can all compare notes and see what happens.


ETA - thanks for the info, Chopper!
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Re: Attracting beneficials

Post  Megan on 6/8/2010, 8:54 pm

The ant bait I am using is water, sugar, and borax. I think I have seen one ladybug this spring and it was on my windshield.... But I would like to see this work! Smile
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Re: Attracting beneficials

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