Wednesday, June 24, 2009

things are a'buzz

Syrphid fly on broccoli raab.
Do you ever look closely...really closely at your garden? Do you stop and listen? If so you have seen and heard the wealth of activity that occurs in a garden on a sunny summer day. The Edible Landscape has been very busy with insect activity lately. A wide array of pollinators have been seen on the dill flowers, broccoli raab flowers, many of the ornamentals and especially the baby pak choy that flowered last week. Not only have the pollinators been hanging around the Edible Landscape, a myriad of other beneficial insects have taken up residence among the lettuces and calendula...just to name a few.

It is important to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys when it comes to insects in the garden. If you see a mass of insect eggs on the underside of a leaf, don't immediately smash them assuming you're saving your plants from imminent danger. They may be eggs of a lady beetle, for example, which is a voracious predator of aphids. There are numerous online resources for identifying insects in the garden. The U of MN Extension Service has some info on beneficial insects. Once you learn to recognize the beneficial insects from the pests, you'll be able to more effectively control the pests...most likely with the help of some little insect allies! Check out the Yard and Garden page on the Extension Service website to find lots of great gardening information, advice and tips, including lots of information on garden insects.
A harvestman, also known as daddy longleg, on calendula.
Syrphid fly (aka hover fly) on dill.

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