Beneficial Insects



Beneficial Insects

Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:22 pm

I guess the crux of organic gardening is the ever battle with insect herbivory in your garden. (Especially your vegetable Garden) Anyway, here is an excellent website that uses Apple Orchards as the example but, has information that can be applied to any garden:

http://www.earthworksboston.org/urbanor ... icials.htm

Also here is a list (from the website) of plants that you can plant to encourage beneficial insects in your garden: (I have listed the ions that each plant accumulates and therefore keeps in your soil when you rake the plant down)

Common Name/Botanical Name Beneficial Insects Attracted

Alfalfa: ( Nitrogen and Iron )
Minute pirate bigs, big-eye bugs, damsel bugs, assassin bugs, lady bugs, parasitic wasps
(Medicago sativa)

Angelica:
Ladybugs; lacewings; potter, mud-dauber, and sand wasps
(Angelica sp.)

Baby blue eyes:
Syrphid flies
(Nemophila inignis)

Buckwheat: (Magnesium)
Syrphid flies
(Fagopyrum esculentum)

California buckwheat:
Potter, mud-dauber, and sand wasps; tachina, chloropid, and syrphid flies; minute pirate bugs
(Eriogonum sp.)

California coffeeberry:
Tachnid and syrphid flies; ladybugs; mad-dauber, sand, inchneumon, and braconid wasps; lacewings
(Rhamnus californica)

Camphorweed:
Stink bugs, assassin bugs, ground beetles, spiders
(Heterotheca subaxillaris)

Candytuft:
Syrphid flies
(Iberis umbellata)

Carrot: (Leaves accumulate Nitrogen and Phosphorous... DON'T THROW AWAY)
Minute pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, assassin bugs; lacewings; parasitic potter, and predaceous wasps
(Daucus carota)

Coriander:
Tachnid flies
(Coriandrum sativum)

Coyote brush:
Syrphid, chloropod, and tachnia flies; braconid, ichneumon, potter, mud-dauber, sand, and chalcid wasps
(Baccharis pilularis)

Evening primrose: (Magnesium)
Ground beetles
(Oenthera laciniata
and O. biennis)

Evergreen:
euonymus Lacewings; chloropid, tachnid, and syrphid flies; chalcid, braconid, mud-dauber, sand, and ichneumon wasps; ladybugs
(Euonymus japonica)

Fennel: (Warning: Fennel is extremely invasive. Sodium, Nitrogen, Phosphorous)
Pooter, braconid, mud-dauber, and sand wasps; syrphid and tachnid flies
(Foeniculum vulgare)

Goldenrod:
Predaceous beetles, big-eyed bugs, ladybugs, spiders, parasitic wasps, long-legged flies, assassin bigs
(Solidago altissima)

Ivy:
Flower and tachnid flies; braconid, potter, mud-dauber, sand, hornet, and yellow jacket wasps
(Hedera sp.)

Meadow foam:
Syrphid flies
(Limnanthes douglasii)

Mediterranean umble:
Tachnid flies; sand, mud-dauber, and potter wasps
(Bupleurum fruticosum)

Mexican tea:
Stink bugs, ladybugs, assassin bugs, big-eyed bugs
(Chenopodium ambrosioides)

Morning glory:
Syrphid flies, ladybugs
perennial ornamental
(Convolvulus minor)

Oleander:
Minute pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, assassin bugs, ladybugs, soft-winged flower beetles, lacewings, syrphid flies, parasitic wasps
(Nerium oleander)

Pigweed: (Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorous and Iron)
Ground beetles
(Amaranthus sp.)

Ragweed:
Ladybugs, assassin bugs, spiders
(Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

Rue:
Ichneumon and potter wasps
(Ruta graveolens)

Saltbush:
Potter, sand, and mud-dauber wasps
(Atriplex sp.)

Silver lace vine:
Tachnid and syrphid flies
(Polygolum aubertii)

Snowberry:
Flower and tachnid flies
(Symphoricarpos sp.)

Soapbark tree:
Syrphid and chloropid flies; lacewings; ladybugs; ichneumon, chalcid, and brachonid wasps
(Quillaja saponaria)

White clover: (Note: White Clover is an excellent cover crop that is planted in early spring (March) and can be replanted when the garden is seeded) (Nitrogen and Phosphorous)
Parasitic wasps of aphids, scales, and whiteflies
(Trifolium repens)

White sweet clover:
Tachnid flies; mud-dauber, sand, hornet, and yellow jacket wasps
(Melilotus alba)

White mustard: (Sulphur and Potassium)
Braconid and ichneumon wasps
(Brassica hirta)

Wild lettuce:
Soldier beetles, lacewings, earwigs, syrphid flies
(Lactuca canadensis)

Yarrow: (For those who suffer from Prickly heat; make a tea from Yarrow and then use the tea leaves by chewing them placing them on the Prickly heat) (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous and Copper)
Ladybugs; parasitic wasps or aphids, scales, and whiteflies
(Achillea sp.)
Last edited by opabinia51 on Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
opabinia51
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Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:21 pm

Excellent list Opa! I am just starting to get the skinny on syrphid flies and they are a joy to have in the garden; glad to see them well represented on the list...

Scott
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Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:03 pm

Yah, it's a great list. I found it on a website that I had bookmarked for over a year on beneficial insects. I added any information that I had on the dynamic accumulators as I definately think that it is pertinent. Actually, after reading that list I have decided on not only using my white clover as a cover crop but, saving a bag of seeds to sow into my garden after I have planted the vegetables.
You get the best of both worlds; White Clover attracts beneficial insects and it is a dynamic accumulator of Nitrogen and Phosphorous! And the flowers are nice to look at.

Actually, I was doing a bit of research on medicinal plants last night and Coltsfoot is really good to take when you have a cold (which I am just getting over) and it is a dynamic accumulator of Sulphur, Nitrogen, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium and Iron. Might be something else that people could plant in their gardens as a Fall/Winter crop.

Also, Angellica is good to take when you have a cold as well.
opabinia51
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Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:01 pm

WHoa Opa, before you get happy with the clover seed it will offer competition for soil nutrition (and water) as well as fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Good attractor, yes. Good neighbor... :?

Scott
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Fri Jan 21, 2005 12:37 am

Good advice. My idea was to plant it in the walkway that leads into my garden. So, I don't think that it will interfere with the plants. Thanks for the heads up Scott!
opabinia51
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Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:44 am

Might as well tack this on here:

Weed Inhibiting Plants
Buckwheat Pumpkins
Pine Needles
Poppies
Potatoes
Rye
Oats
Sunflowers
opabinia51
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Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:48 am

opabinia51 wrote:Good advice. :shock: My idea was to plant it in the walkway that leads into my garden. So, I don't think that it will interfere with the plants. Thanks for the heads up Scott!


Yes, I've since decided to plant both white clover and Alfalfa in the pathway. This way, I get the best of both worlds. (As far as attracting insects)
opabinia51
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Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:21 pm

Here is a great website with lists of companion plants, Plants that will detur certain insects and plants that will attract benefical insects:

http://www.rexresearch.com/agro/comp1.htm

Here is another great website:

http://apps01.metrokc.gov/govlink/hazwa ... odbugs.cfm

It has information on beneficial insects. Very useful.
opabinia51
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Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:34 pm

Op, great links!!

Newt
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Fri Jan 28, 2005 10:26 pm

I can see I've left the place in good hands
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Scott
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Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:24 pm

Thanks Scott, how were your Trade Shows and conferences?

On the topic of Lasagna Gardening; I read that a gardner acquired coffee grounds from some Coffee house and spread them over her garden. She said that the next year, the soil was the best that it had ever been. My question is: Don't cofee grounds attract fruit flies? I'm really leary about using them for that reason.
opabinia51
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Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:47 pm

Knowing insect pests is as important if not more important than knowing insect predators. With this in mind. take a peek at this website:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN006

Yah, hopefully the link will work. Anyway, it is very important to know the pests in your garden as well as the friends. If you notice certain insects in your garden that are bad :evil: ie) eat your plants then you can plant a plant that will detur that insect using some forsight locate the insect ravaged plants amongst both plants that will detur the herbivore and plants that will attract the predator of the herbivore.

I believe that in the Vegetable Gardening section Scott mentioned using beds instead of rows in your Veg garden. This is extremely useful as you can intermingle various types of plants to detur plant pests and attract plant beneficials. Of course, you can also plant rows with more than one plant in them, maximizing the addition of nutrients to the soil (ie. corn and peas/beans) and attract beneficials.
opabinia51
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Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:57 pm

Thought that I would mention that Helianthus (Sunflowers) attract beneficial insects and birds to your garden. Also, Helianthus tuberosa (sunchoke) has edible tubers that grow underground.
A word to the wise though, H. tuberosa is very invasive and it is best to have an area blocked off to keep the plant at bay. I personally built a retaining wall in my Vegetable garden to hold the plants in. I have also bought other types of sunflowers to plant around my garden and attract different types of beneficial insects.

A quick note on edible tubers: The scarlett runner bean produces a tuber that is supposed to be edible. Though, I have found it to be spicy due to small ... (for lack of a better word) spikes that seem to exist in the flesh. And my mother became quite ill after eating them so, I'd say, eat at your own risk. Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes) on the other hand are very yummy and are somewhat akin to waterchestnuts in their taste and texture. JA's also contian a small amount of Thiamin and can therefore be considered somewhat nutritious.
opabinia51
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Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:05 pm

Hey Opa,

Still running the show here, I see. :lol: I was home for ONE day and answered some threads quick like, but this is my first time back to it for real. Shows were good but tiring; check the 'HG hits the road" thread on General for more info...

Keep up the good work...

Scott
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Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:31 am

Thanks Scott. :) Just enjoy sharing the info with people. If it can help me, why can't it help everyone.
Have you (or anyone else reading this) heard about coffee grounds and fruit flies? The idea I've been mixing around in my head is to put them in the "Lasagna" in between the Lettuce and Kelp layers and then bury them with the manure in the Fall. Thus, there is less of a chance of fruit flies being alive and, the grounds would be buried. We'll see, I'm still quite leary.
opabinia51
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