Make plans now to join Melinda on her famous Garden Walks at Boerner Botanical Gardens in 2014!
Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.
New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Eco-friendly Control of Aphids in the Garden - The Garden Mix
by Melinda Myers,posted Jul 13 2012 4:23PM
Ants, lady beetles and a clear sticky substance on your leaves are good indications that aphids have moved into your garden for a meal.
These small tear-dropped shaped insects come in a variety of colors including black, brown, green, red, and peach.
These pests have needle-like mouthparts and suck plant juices, causing leaves to curl, yellow, brown become distorted and stunted when populations and feeding levels are high.
The aphids secrete a clear sticky substance called honeydew. Ants often move in to feed on this sweet tasty treat.
And if you see lady beetles, nature has moved in to control this pest. Both the adults and larvae can eat hundreds of aphids in one day.
Start treatment, if needed, with a strong blast of water. This dislodges and kills many of the aphids. Follow with eco-friendly products like insecticidal soap, Horticulture oil, or Neem. Repeat weekly as needed.
A bit more information: A black fungus called sooty mold will occasionally develop on this sticky liquid. The fungus feeds on the honeydew not the plant. Fortunately, controlling the aphids will help wash off and prevent the sooty mold.
Eco-friendly Control of Thrips
Poorly developed flowers, stunted plants and silvery streaks on leaves are indications thrips may be feeding on your plants.
These tiny insects have file-like mouthparts they use to puncture the outer surface of leaves, stems and flowers and suck out plant sap. They are very small and difficult to detect. Hold a white piece of paper under the plant and shake. Or remove the petals of damaged flowers, place in a sealed jar with 70% alcohol and shake the jar to dislodge and detect the pests.
Control is difficult and often not needed as the damage is discovered after the thrips have finished feeding.
Provide the proper growing conditions and care for your plants. Avoid excess nitrogen that promotes lush succulent growth these pests prefer. And remove spent flowers that tend to harbor the insects. Manage weeds in the garden and keep thrip-susceptible plants away from weedy areas where the pest populations tend to be high.
A bit more information: Beneficial insects like predatory thrips, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs and some parasitic wasps feed upon plant damaging thrips. Invite these good bugs into the garden by planting a diversity of plants and avoiding persistent pesticides. Visit the University of California IPM online for more details on this pest.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
If you ever get a chance to see Milwaukee from the water...do it! I don't know what it is about the water but everything looks beautiful when you're on the water. I took these over the weekend and just looking at them calms me. We have a beautiful city enjoy it and enjoy what's left of summer:)