May 2017 Meeting
May Meeting Notes
Barb began her presentation saying there are good and bad insects with only 3% classified as bad. The good bugs assist in ridding your garden of the bad bugs and the nectar of plants that flower attracts these insects.
Among bad insects are Slugs which you usually can find under flower pots when they are moved. Soapy water or beer in a shallow dish and citrus (oranges and apples) placed in the garden are harmful to Slugs. Cut Worms which actually aren't worms are moth larvae which becomes a Caterpillar. Caterpillars commonly feed on Parsley, Celery, Fennel, Dill and other plants are also known as Cabbage Loopers. Caterpillar predators include Fire Flies (whose eggs also glow), wasps, large insects, butterflies and birds such as Guineas, Blue Birds, Cardinals, Chickadees, Mockingbirds, Robins and Hummingbirds. Shelter, water and fruit trees help attract these birds. Aphids, which are common plant pests, leaves their secretion causing Black fungus also known as Sooty Mold on many plants. Aphid predators include Lacewings, also known as Aphid Lions, as they voraciously attack aphids. Lady Bugs also eat Aphids and feed on scale insects and plant mites.
Praying Mantis kills spiders and other insects but some good insects abandon areas where spiders reside. Squash vine borers are attracted to the plant's flowers but herbs planted among your plants help repel bad insects. One such herb is Borage which is a real work horse in the garden. It repels tomato horn worms and cabbage worms and also attracts bees and wasps. Keeping your grass cut short lessens Grasshopper's food source which helps deter the Grasshoppers.