I just learned how to set traps for fruit flies in the garden, before they can find the way inside. Remember that your and nature's over watering causes mold on your plants, plus you have fruit and vegetables that fall and rot. A clear quart bottle half filled with cheap vinegar and a little bakers yeast, topped with a fifty (50) cent funnel, secured with Gorilla Glue to a hole in the bottle cap, will do the trick. It will hold about 20-40 thousand flies. Flies enter through the funnel, cant find their way out, fall in the liquid and die.
For regular flies use canned sardines, or any fish (just need a couple of sardines from the can) in water and add a little (preferably unscented) soap to the water. Dead flies in the bottle also add attractant stink, just keep the soapy water level, starting at half full, 2 inches above the pile up. When Denise becomes really disgusted with the site and smell, I'm required to dispose of the bottle. I then keep the funneled top (to be used in the next trap) and replace it on the bottle to be discarded by a similar top, so the mess does not spill out on the garbage bag.
Place trap bottles 3-4 feet high in sunny area.
Master Gardener Miguel
If you want crops, or a beautiful garden you need pollinators and organic predators.. Pesticides will harm that balance
We are a totally pesticide free organic growers. There are far more ways to grow plants than to use pesticides to combat harmful insects, because most are indiscriminate killers and even the so called organic approved do pose a threat, even if diminished . Our favorite methods are to attract biological enemies like ladybugs, praying mantis, certain spiders, hummingbirds, bats, etc. by keeping a good mix of flowering plants and what are known as trap crops, like Monmouth dill for caterpillars. We also use certain plants like basil, mint family, sage, marigolds and oregano as harmful insect blockers where we are growing edible plants. We also provide bees and birds with water sources and hummingbird feeders also work for bees, while flowering gets on the way. Watering and keeping healthy plants is very important, as healthy plants can recover from most insect attacks.
We are fortunate in that the neighbors on either side are equally reluctant to pesticides and the one across the street is far away enough, where his spraying for "bag worms" does not cross the street. As a result of all of the above we have a very healthy population of wild bees which pollinate all our plants
Three out of every four flowering plants rely on pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
But sadly, pollinators are on the decline worldwide.
Since Pollinator Week is June 17-23, there's no better time to reward these hard workers for all they do than by turning your yard or garden into a welcoming haven for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
And, here are a few tips to attract these helpful friends to your garden:
Honeybees pollinate about one-third of all crops in the United States and contribute roughly $15 billion a year to the economy. Honeybees and smaller native bees have somewhat shorter tongues than bumblebees, so they'll appreciate tightly packed clusters of tiny flowers and shallow blossoms like some milkweeds, spirea, goldenrod and phlox.
Bats are hard at work while you're asleep, so consider night-blooming plants in addition to day-bloomers. Install a bat box on a nearby tree to encourage bats to take up residence in your yard.
Hummingbirds love brightly colored, tubular flowers. Native red trumpet honeysuckle and many types of columbine are a favorite. When blooms are few, supplement flowers with feeders filled with nectar water.
Butterflies move pollen on their bodies, like bees, but aren't quite as efficient as other pollinators. Attract these beauties with red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes.
I do not use any pesticides in our orchard and vegetable plantings, I rely on lots of flowers (particularly African marigolds and not killing dandelions until other plants have flowered, so wild bees can start gathering pollen) and herbs (pungent basil does great), good spacing, trap crops (mainly dill), birds, wild bees and beneficial insects, for whom I provide water. I also water mainly through soaker hoses and when overhead sprinkler is required I use it early morning to prevent fungus growth. Additionally, I rely on the fact that healthy plants can tolerate some chewing, for if you like butterflies, you have to tolerate centipedes.
For those of us who do not use insecticides, beneficial insects and pollinators, together with disease resistant plants and companion plantings are a very vital ingredient on which our crop success is based.
All gardeners need to identify those beneficial bugs that we want in our garden and bugs we don't. Providing plant attractants to host good bugs is essential to their presence in the garden. This article and a biology loupe, or good magnifying glass will help.
PS I buy my loupes for $1.00 (as I and my biology teacher daughter, Jessica, loose and give them away, plus does the same job than the ones costing $20) and also buy a lot of garden stuff and tools at a Harbor Freight store, who has not paid me for this endorsement, Also on line at www.HarborFreight.com , where you can find out if there is a store near you.
I hate spending more money than I have to and in that light, I give a (this year's DE Master Gardener's Piggie Bank Award and trophy) presentation entitled "Gardening on the Cheap."
**************************************************** CONTACT INFORMATION
Van Dyke Zinnias / LobaTek Incorporated Sharon Fernandez, President 2743 Bartlett Rd., Pleasant Lake, MI 49272 WWW.VANDYKEZINNIAS.CO
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