opabinia51
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Beneficial Insects

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:

https://www.earthworksboston.org/urbanorchards/replicate/06_Pests_and_Beneficials.htm <<broken link
applestar wrote:Here's a link to an archived copy of the old web page that Opa had linked to.

This is a REALLY cool site, opabinia.

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.

The Helpful Gardener
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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

opabinia51
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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.

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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

opabinia51
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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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Might as well tack this on here:

Weed Inhibiting Plants
Buckwheat Pumpkins
Pine Needles
Poppies
Potatoes
Rye
Oats
Sunflowers

opabinia51
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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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Here is a great website with lists of companion plants, Plants that will detur certain insects and plants that will attract benefical insects:

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

Here is another great website:

https://apps01.metrokc.gov/govlink/hazwaste/house/yard/problems/goodbugs.cfm

It has information on beneficial insects. Very useful.

Newt
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Op, great links!!

Newt

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

Scott

opabinia51
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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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Knowing insect pests is as important if not more important than knowing insect predators. With this in mind. take a peek at this website:

https://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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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.

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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

opabinia51
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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.

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Used some coffe grounds in my compost last year (Starbucks no less) and had nary a problem...must be your warm weather....

Scott

opabinia51
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So what is your Climate like Scott? What state do you live in? (Zones mean nothing to me so, saying zone 5 doesn't mean anything to me). :?:

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We're just inland, piedmont sort of, lows to the neg20's on occasion, cooler summers, four real seasons, that sort of thing...

opabinia51
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Okay folks, if you haven't already done so, it is time to put out your mason bee nests. Mason bees start appearing as early as February and all die off by the time the summer heat comes around.

I don't know about the rest of north America but, here on the West Coast we have had unseasonably warm and not to mention dry weather. Anyway, best to get those nests out for the Mason bees, thus ensuring that you will have a health population next year.

A slight reminder that Heather will attract Mason Bees.

Newt
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Hi Op,

Strange that you should post this now. I just answered a question on another forum about mason bee houses. They had a question I couldn't answer, maybe you can. They asked if it was ok to use cedar to make a house. In my searching it appears that fir, pine and spruce were recommended. Of course, nothing preservative treated. They are located in Vancouver, BC. They also had a question about when to put them out. I did the best I could with searching. Here's the post if you don't mind helping out.

https://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=6059

Newt

opabinia51
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In my research I have found no evidence that states that Cedar is bad for Mason Bee Nests. In fact, that is what I built mine from. I'll look at your link and see what it has to say.

I do know that you have to be careful with Cedar because Mason Bees won't lay their nests in holes that are dirty or have any sort of protrusions in them. Cedar can be notorius for protrusions as it is juch a fine grained wood.
I would mention to the people from Van that they should vacuum out all the dust from the holes after drilling them and then use a pencil to rub around inside the holes.

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Need to be careful with that "cedar" word here, kids; this is an international forum and cedar for us East Coasters is Juniperus virginiana, isn't it a Thuja for you West Coast types, Opa? It's Cedrus for the folks in Lebanon and in Arizona (different species). Common names can lead to misunderstandings...

Scott

opabinia51
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Phylogeny of Cedar (esque) trees..... I had always assumed the Junipers were closely related to what we westerners think of as Cedars. As in Cedar Primadellas, Western Red Cedars and the like. I'll have to look into to the phylogeny of Junipers and see how they are related to Cedars. Anyway, the plant itself is acidic like a Cedar is so, I'm thinking that (though I've never heard of a Juniper giving someone enough wood to build a Mason Bee Nest) Juniper would still be okay.

Newt
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You two are a riot!! Ask a simple question. :roll:
Thank you both so very much. I have passed the information on.

Newt

opabinia51
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Hey Newt, I just looked at that forum at UBC where the question stemmed from. I'm not a woman, I am a man. I've got the X and Y Chromosomes to prove it. Just thought that I would let you know.

Newt
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Hi Op,

I didn't say you were a man. :(
I asked a biologist that posts on another site that I frequent and she uses cedar for her Mason Bee houses.
I knew you were a woman. I'm a woman as well and most folks think I'm a man. Guess it's the name Newt that they associate with that Gingrich guy.

Newt

opabinia51
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No no no. I am not a woman. I am a man. Anyway, as far as the phylogenetics of Cedars and Junpers is concerned. The two trees are completely and totally unrelated;
Cedars are a member of the Pine family; the Pinaceae and Junipers are a member of the Cypress family the Cupressaceae. The trees are however related down to the same order the Pinales. So, they are somewhat related. Regardless, they have the same type of wood in that it is acidic.

Newt
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OOoooops!! I read that too fast! :oops: :oops: :oops: I'm sooo sorry. All I can say is that, from MY perspective, you seem as sensitive as most women I know. Am I digging myself out yet??? :roll: Btw, my son is also a very sensitive guy. I'm still digging!! :?

Newt

opabinia51
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No worries Newt, just wanted to get it straight. 8) Especially seeing that I have family and friends that work at and attend UBC.

Newt
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Oh my, the hole gets deeper! Family and friends at UBC. Please do accept my apologies!

Newt

opabinia51
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Apology accepted. Don't worry about it. We gardners quite often dig ourselves into holes.....reminds me of when I was planting a Eucalyptus tree.... my boss said that I might as well had dug to China!!! :wink:

Yes, I just realized that this recollection has no context.... I had dug a hole so deep that well.... I'm 5'6" and only my torso would show if I stood in the hole... so, like I said: we gardners often dig ourselves into holes.
Last edited by opabinia51 on Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Newt
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:D :D :D

Newt

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heeheehee :lol:

And you say WE'RE hilarious, Newt... :D

That cedar thing still rears its head; what plant are the bee people excluding from housing? Red Cedar (J. virginiana) provides enough wood for closets to keep moths away, so maybe that's our bee killer? What are you west coasters calling cedar? Still lots of unanswered questions; and I HATE unanswered questions... :wink:

Scott

opabinia51
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We call Junipers; Junipers but, I am now curious as to what the botanical name of what we call Cedar primadellas (sp?). The only two Junipers that I am aware of around here are Japanese Juniper (used for bonsai) and the Juniper that everyone has in their gardens. Neither would be useful for lumber.

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Red cedar is definitely a tree, as is Rocky mountain juniper (J. scopulorum)...

opabinia51
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Mason Bees

Yes, put up my Mason Bee blocks aka houses last February. Was looking at them the other week and a bunch of the holes have been used by the bees to lay eggs. So, next year I will have a bumper crop of pollinators in my garden. Look forward to it.

jstr12
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They attract fruit flies, a few days after you put them in the compost bin you'll have your own personal swarm!

jstr :)
Jstr =D

uggabugga
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i was so happy to see this particular tomato hornworm, i just had to take a picture of it.

[url=https://img489.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1000206rb0.jpg][img]https://img489.imageshack.us/img489/976/1000206rb0.th.jpg[/img][/url]


[url=https://img337.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1000205he1.jpg][img]https://img337.imageshack.us/img337/4765/1000205he1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

how can i encourage more of these, outside of not killing this particular caterpillar?

peachguy
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I have houses for mason bee houses but i don't seem to have any bees in the houses what is wrong and how can i attract them. My houses are just old boards with holes in them.

opabinia51
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I believe that there is a plant described above that attract mason bees. One that I can think of off the top of my head is Heather.

But, check out the beneficial insects list, there are plants that will attract the insects listed next the insect names.

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